After the government used 49-3 to pass the pension reform bill last week, Emmanuel Macron’s popularity has fallen to an all-time low. If the executive wishes to begin a new stage of the five-year term, the French and the unions themselves, remain to be convinced.
This is a level never reached since the crisis of yellow vests. Emmanuel Macron’s popularity fell to just 28% of French people saying they were satisfied in March, eight points less than last December. A result of the monthly Ifop barometer for the Journal du Dimanche, weighed down by the pension reform and the use of 49-3.
Continue to work with unions
So, on the executive side, it is urgent to think about a way out of the crisis. Among the tracks considered, the justification of the 49-3 with the opinion. Interviewed in the Sunday newspaper, Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt invokes the too important nature of the reform to take the risk of “playing Russian roulette”. The minister does not intend, however, to give up dialogue with the social partners despite the forced passage made last Thursday by the executive.
“There are other subjects on which we can move forward” explains Olivier Dussopt, even though the projects awaiting the government, such as immigration, nuclear power, or even work, are not lacking.
On all these issues, the government intends to move forward despite a relationship of trust that has begun with the unions. At the same time, the alliance with the Republicans in the Assembly seems otherwise unstable.
Finally, public opinion still remains hostile to pension reform and even more so to 49-3, weakening Emmanuel Macron in the process. So the head of state could speak soon. He had planned to do so after a favorable vote in the Assembly but he will finally be forced to do so to justify the use of 49-3 and to try, despite a very tense social climate, to open a new sequence of his five-year term. .
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