Pension reform was already at the heart of the debates during the presidential campaign. It therefore represents a significant challenge for the presidential party, which aims to keep Emmanuel Macron’s campaign promise that a gradual reduction in the legal retirement age of up to 65 would be introduced. The President of the Republic is delaying the implementation of his reform, having announced that a new round of consultation with the various parliamentary groups would take place at the end of the week, as Le Figaro reports.

Emmanuel Macron procrastinates, but would however have brandished the threat of a dissolution of the National Assembly in the event of a motion of censure against the government, and remains evasive on the legislative mechanism planned for the adoption of the said reform. On the program of the consultation debates: the revaluation of the minimum old age, the question of hardship, or even the employment of seniors…

The opposition took a strong position when the first consultations were announced at the end of September, and the debate promises to be heated. According to Le Parisien, the national secretary of the PCF Fabien Roussel would have warned: “We are going to fight project against project”. The focus of debate and criticism on pushing back the age of 65 had been cleverly used before the legislative elections by the Renaissance government, when Macron and Borne stipulated that 65 was “not necessarily a totem” for them , still according to the Ile-de-France daily.

These statements were intended to facilitate dialogue on reform, an approach radically thwarted by the words of Edouard Philippe, former Prime Minister and founder of the Horizons party, expressed in an interview with Parisian last Sunday.

From the start of the interview, the former head of government expresses his concern about the public debt and the growing public spending which he considers not bearing, or not bearing enough fruit. After citing as an example a housing policy that has become “largely ineffective” according to him, he comes to the question of pension reform as a strong pillar of a set of measures aimed at reducing the deficit.

Edouard Philippe affirms that he envisages a retirement starting at the age of 67, justifying this choice by pointing the finger at European neighbors such as Germany and Italy, and underlining the aging of our population. However, he relativizes his point with a short sentence: “If we are 65 and it works, it suits me very well.”

When asked if he is targeting the government or even Bruno Le Maire when he denounces uncontrolled spending, he claims to be loyal to the majority. His macronist colleagues, however, do not see things the same way …

Ex-PM’s statement comes at a crucial moment for Renaissance strategy, as the presidential party tries everything to calm things down on the question of the exact age of departure, among other thorny issues related to the reform .

Without naming the founder of Horizons, Stéphane Séjourné, secretary general of Renaissance, decries the “totems” that the legal age and the legislative vehicle have become, and which give rise to “unfounded concerns and fears”, as reported by Le Parisian.

In addition, François Bayrou, leader of the MoDem, declared this Sunday that he was “convinced” that the words of Edouard Philippe were not in accordance with President Macron’s action plan, according to Le Monde. President who, moreover, went in the direction of the centrist leader when he advised against the passage in force concerning the reform, affirming that “the more one puts flexibility, the better it is.”