resim 1961
resim 1961

Since the adoption of the controversial pension reform by 49.3, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne seems to be on borrowed time at Matignon. Even as she presents her government’s roadmap for the next 100 days, this Tuesday, April 26, 2023, her longevity is questioning. Political journalist Daïc Audouit compares the “100 days” to “a 3-month CDD at Matignon”, on FranceInfo.

After having escaped a motion of censure by 9 votes, Elisabeth Borne retains her post, not without stirring up desire for change, both among the French and in the corridors of the National Assembly. A Renaissance deputy explained: “What I hear is that it takes a culprit. And in the group, we hear that it’s Borne. As the deputies do not want it to be their [head], the another solution is for it to be the Prime Minister” (comment collected by Public Senate). However, Emmanuel Macron has not yet announced any upcoming reshuffle.

On March 22, 2023, a few days after the adoption of the pension reform, Emmanuel Macron spoke on TF1 and France 2, as Ouest-France recalls. Journalist Julian Bugier then asked him if he still trusted Elisabeth Borne. “Yes, I named Elisabeth Borne.”

“Does she have it for a long time?”, bounced journalist Marie-Sophie Lacarrau. This time, Emmanuel Macron’s response is less categorical. “She has my confidence to lead this government team. And what I have asked her to do is build a government program.” What if “100 Days of Calm” was a countdown to a redesign?

Since the adoption of the pension reform, disagreements have multiplied between the Head of State and the Prime Minister. Friday April 7, 2023, Elisabeth Borne called not to “rush things” and to respect “a period of convalescence” in order to prevent the unions from “coming out humiliated from this sequence”, reports Le Monde. His diplomatic tone contrasted with that of Emmanuel Macron who wanted to turn the page as soon as possible.

Worse, Elisabeth Borne seemed to question the mission entrusted to her by the president: “to widen the majority”. Indeed, the Prime Minister declared: “Before going to seek allies to vote on the texts, it is important that we say where we want to go.” The message went wrong on the side of Emmanuel Macron on a trip to China. The answer was not long in coming: “The course was given by the President of the Republic during his interview at 1 p.m. on France 2 and TF1.”

Similarly, Emmanuel Macron disagreed with Elisabeth Borne’s decision to no longer use “49.3 outside of financial texts”. Emmanuel Macron had replied curtly: “I am not responsible for the AFP interviews of the Prime Minister”, on April 19, 2023, during his trip to Alsace.

“Not to be responsible”. A refrain underpinned in several speeches by the president since the controversial adoption of the pension reform. Does he too want to blame the current crisis on his Prime Minister?

In an interview with Parisian, April 23, 2023, Emmanuel Macron distanced himself from the use of 49.3 by Elisabeth Borne. “It is not the president who decides on the use of article 49.3 alone, it is the Prime Minister who proposes it. […] It is a choice of the Prime Minister, and the president accept or not.”

In the same interview, the president also criticized his Prime Minister for the way he carried out the pension reform. “For me, the first element that did not work is that we did not install the idea that there was a need to make this reform.”

Finally, the president regretted not having become more involved in the defense of the bill. “Perhaps I should have gotten more wet […] Perhaps the mistake was not being present enough to give consistency and carry out this reform myself.”

Ever better served than by yourself? In any case, Emmanuel Macron seems to regret having chosen Elisabeth Borne and could very soon propose a reshuffle.