Pension reform, social anger… The challenges that await Emmanuel Macron in 2023


War in Ukraine, inflation, political crisis… The year 2022 has had its share of challenges for Emmanuel Macron. Since the Yellow Vests in 2019, then the Covid-19 in 2020, crises have followed one another in Europe and on French territory.

It is therefore a new year, to say the least not very restful, which is ending for the Head of State, freshly re-elected in May. But the one that is coming does not promise to be calmer, since major challenges are already looming.

From a political point of view, the government will start the year with a disadvantage. Following the legislative elections in June, he no longer has a majority in the National Assembly and must now deal with the opposition. However, for the start of the 2023 school year, the agenda of the Hemicycle is busy and important laws must be passed, like the much-discussed pension reform.

On the left as on the far right, this reform, which is so important in the eyes of Emmanuel Macron, is highly criticized. Only the traditional right-wing Les Républicains party, of which Éric Ciotti recently took the reins, could potentially agree to vote for the famous text, thus giving hope to the majority of passing this law through parliament.

But nothing is decided for the moment and the use of article 49-3 of the Constitution is not excluded by the government to have this text adopted without obtaining the approval of the deputies. However, it is a tool particularly decried by the people and its use to pass a reform massively rejected by the French could fuel, even more, the social anger which rumbles in the streets.

“Mass is said, Emmanuel Macron wants to go to the confrontation”, declared François Hommeril, the president of the CFE-CGC in the columns of Le Monde on Thursday, December 8, 2022, while Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne had spoken with several union officials to discuss the reform. The terms are therefore set. If the text is adopted, the union response will be immediate and loud, especially if article 49-3 is used.

But they will probably not be the only ones to demonstrate since the left could also take to the streets. Mathilde Panot, president of the group La France Insoumise in the National Assembly had already promised to “fight step by step” the text in the Hemicycle even if it means using the map of parliamentary obstruction by making the amendments rain, recalls TF1.

But well in addition to the pension reform, social anger is already very present in a whole part of the French population.

In 2023, Emmanuel Macron will also have to deal with the social anger that is eating away at the French people. In one year, between November 2021 and November 2022, the popularity rating of the President of the Republic has fallen by 8 points, from 44% of favorable opinions last year to 36% today, according to a study carried out by Ipsos for Le Point in November 2022.

Several factors may explain this situation. First of all, the inflationary context of recent months, accompanied by a constant decline in purchasing power, has fueled ever-growing social anger. Added to this is also the public hospital crisis, combined with doctors’ strikes and major drug shortages.

But it was also the energy crisis that set things on fire. Indeed, between fuel shortages, rising energy bills and the threat of power cuts looming over the territory, anger is brewing in the streets and could well erupt in the weeks or months to come. .