Since President Emmanuel Macron's party lost its absolute majority last year, the government under prime minister Élisabeth Borne needs votes from the conservative Les Républicains to pass the unpopular reform in parliament.
The pension changes proposed by President Emmanuel Macron – the fourth reform in twenty years and which in this case will push the retirement age back from 62 to 64 - will leave no one better off. The demonstrators who have taken to the streets on January 19th and January 31st have fully grasped that point, say Mediapart's Stéphane Alliès, Carine Fouteau and Dan Israel in this op-ed article. They argue that the stubbornness shown by the government, which looks set to force the reforms through the French Parliament, represents a danger to democracy.
French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, addressing Parliament with the first policy speech of her new government, announced that France's debt-laden energy giant EDF is to be nationalised, that a reform of the pension system was 'indispensable', and promised an imminent introduction of measures to ease the growing cost of living crisis.
A new French government was announced on Monday, replacing the smaller interim government formed following Emmanuel Macron’s re-election as president in April. It also follows the stinging losses of Macron’s centre-right party in June’s legislative elections, after which the president pledged to honour what he called “the will for change that the country has clearly expressed”. But instead, writes Ilyes Ramdani in this presentation and analysis of the new government, the 41-strong ministerial line-up is simply a larger helping of more of the same.
Meanwhile, Macron’s discussions with opposition leaders will start on Tuesday with Christian Jacob, head of the rightwing Les Républicains (LR) party, which could be courted to give the president a parliamentary majority.
After a delay of 26 days, on Friday May 20th Emmanuel Macron finally appointed the 27 members of the new government under recently-installed prime minister Élisabeth Borne. As Ilyes Ramdani reports, its composition is strikingly similar to the old government and is still anchored firmly to the right. Historian Pap Ndiaye, who was a surprise appointment as minister of education, represents something of an anomaly alongside the rest of the ministerial team.
As far as his party and some commentators are concerned, Emmanuel Macron sent a “signal to the Left” this week by appointing Élisabeth Borne as France's new prime minister. It is a sleight of hand that would be laughable if it did not also highlight how the head of state is continuing his attempts to deconstruct the French political arena, argues Mediapart political reporter Ellen Salvi in this opinion article.
by Ellen Salvi
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