resim 6
resim 6

“France will be at a standstill”. The unions had promised it: the day of mobilization on March 7 was the most followed since the start of the protest movement against the pension reform. While debates on the bill continue in the Senate this week, the 6th day of mobilization brought together nearly 3.5 million people all over France according to the CGT (1.28 million according to the Ministry of the Interior ).

The number of people mobilized exceeded that of the day of January 31, having brought together 2.5 million demonstrators according to the CGT. In all sectors of the economy, the mobilization was substantial. SNCF and RATP traffic was “very seriously disrupted”, truck drivers deployed filter barriers, schools closed… A strong signal was thus sent to Emmanuel Macron and the government.

On the strength of this “historic” mobilization, the inter-union had asked, on the evening of March 7, “to be received urgently” by Emmanuel Macron. The Elysée replied that “the door of the executive has always remained open”, reports BFMTV. The unions, however, criticize the long silence of Emmanuel Macron while the reform project is at the heart of all the controversies.

Why isn’t Emmanuel Macron speaking out on pension reform protests?

“For months now, 7 out of 10 French people have said no to this reform, 9 out of 10 employees. We have all the united unions saying no. We have one, two, three demonstrations with one, two, three million people who say no to this reform”.

At the microphone of Europe 1, Monday March 6, François Ruffin, deputy of the Somme (LFI) listed the figures of the important protest against the pension reform. For the deputy “Picardie standing”, the executive acts against the will of the people and the unions.

“If it’s the boss of Amazon or that of Danone, who picks up his phone and says ‘Mr Macron, stop your nonsense’, I think Mr Macron is better able to listen to Jeff Bezos, to whom he has handed over the Legion of Honor, than to listen to the French who work.”

For François Ruffin, the President of the Republic lacks respect for “France which gets up early” by his silence. The opinion of the deputy is shared by the inter-union. In the aftermath of the “historic” mobilization day of March 7, according to the unions, “the silence of the President of the Republic constitutes a serious democratic problem which inevitably leads to a situation which could become explosive” (comments reported by BFMTV).

Since the launch of the debates on the reform, Emmanuel Macron has held back and let Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne and Minister of Labor Olivier Dussopt lead the dialogue with the social partners. How to explain this silence of the president?

At the end of February, as the bill passed from the National Assembly to the Senate, Emmanuel Macron emerged from his media silence on the pension reform. Traveling to the Rungis market and then to the Agricultural Show, he affirmed the need to work “longer” to finance the pay-as-you-go pension system.

During his tour of Africa, between March 1 and 4, the president refused to answer a question about the bill. “I don’t have much new to say. Not everything hangs on one thing, and not everything should be,” he said (comments reported by RTL).

On BFMTV on Tuesday March 7, Philippe Martinez, Secretary General of the CGT, said of Emmanuel Macron: “I find him contemptuous”. On Europe 1, François Ruffin, deputy for the Somme, also did not mince his words. According to him, the will of the executive to pass its pension reform is a “form of madness.”