Thanks to support from the right, the Bourne government is almost certain to pass the retirement age from 62 to 64. This is to convince the French.
To be clear: From the perspective of Switzerland, the pension reform undertaken by Elisabeth Born’s government to delay the legal age from 62 to 64 seems reasonable and relatively balanced. It is not a question of painting the devil on the wall, because the French payment system is not on the verge of bankruptcy, but this reform is necessary to guarantee its long-term stability.
Otherwise, all projections from the Pensions Council point to decades of growing deficits, with no additional funding from the state or increases in employer and employee contributions. In other words: more public debt, or less competitiveness and purchasing power. Those who claim to reform are simply ignoring the price. For them, facing current debt of a few hundred billion euros (2956 billion in mid-December) is not a problem.
“Reform is unpopular, that’s for sure. Is it going to put millions of people on the streets? It’s less safe.”
Ironically, Emmanuel Macron’s most emblematic of his five-year reforms will face no hurdles in parliament. Thanks to the support of the Republicans, it is practically guaranteed that he and his prime minister will be able to vote their plan without resorting to the mandatory clause of 49.3.
The real obstacle will be the street. Leftists and trade unions have announced a firm opposition and are expecting a massive mobilization. It is based on opinion polls indicating that 80% of the French refuse to postpone until age 64 or 65. The reform was unpopular, that’s for sure. But enough to make millions protest? It is much less secure. For President Macron, the whole stake of his political race lies in this distinction.