The French President, Emmanuel Macron, has not obtained this Thursday the necessary support in the National Assembly (the lower house of Parliament) to approve the controversial pension reform that has the opposition of the unions and a large part of the population. For this reason, the French Government has chosen to resort to the controversial article 49.3 of the Constitution that allows you to give the green light to the law without having to put the text to a vote.
The decision to use this constitutional mechanism was made during a crisis meeting at the Elysée in which Macron, its first minister, Elisabeth Borne, and several members of the Executive. Although 49.3 has a long tradition and has been used repeatedly to approve, among other things, budgets, it is considered a last resort.
It also entails a great political risk, since it opens the door for the opposition parties, both the left of Jean Luc Melenchón and the extreme right of Marine Le Pen, to call a motion of no confidence.
[Macron no teme a la calle: se juega otra revuelta y una moción de censura si aprueba las pensiones]
This morning, the new regulations, which contemplates extending the retirement age from 62 to 64, have passed through the Senate (the upper house), where they have been approved with a wide margin. However, the doubts in an appreciable number of deputies from the Macron bloc and from Los Republicanos, their conservative allies, predicted a failure in the Assembly.
Since January, the main unions in the country, united in an unprecedented coalitionhave called strikes and demonstrations throughout the territory to try to stop Macron’s plan.
On Wednesday, after the last mobilization, andhe general secretary of the General Confederation of Labor (CGT, the second French union), Philippe Martinez, denounced that the use of article 49.3 would be “the worst of the worse” and that it would make “democracy waver” for not taking into account “what happens in the street.” Along the same lines, the also leader of the CGT, Olivier Mateu, warned that if the government broke “the rules of democracy”, it should expect “reactions”.