The presidential camp succeeded in unraveling on Wednesday in committee a bill aimed at repealing retirement at 64, in the face of opposition denouncing “scheming” to prevent a vote on June 8 in the hemicycle of the National Assembly .

In a stormy atmosphere, the majority thus won a stage victory, before the arrival in session next week of this text which contributes to maintaining the flame of the challenge to this much criticized reform, promulgated in mid-April.

The deputies narrowly voted, by 38 votes against 34, the deletion of the key article of this bill brought by the independent group Liot, most of the elected LRs adding their votes to those of the presidential majority. They then adopted a text thus stripped of its substance.

After this setback, the oppositions will try on June 8 to reintroduce the discarded article. The leader of the LFI group Mathilde Panot called for “maximum popular pressure on June 6” during the new day of mobilization organized by the unions.

The elected representatives of the left-wing coalition Nupes ended up slamming the door of the Social Affairs Committee to denounce the “manoeuvres” of the majority.

Faced with the unraveling of the text, they had attempted a counter-attack with thousands of amendments. With the objective of preventing the debates from going to a conclusion, so that the initial version of the proposal is discussed on June 8, and not its torpedoed version.

A “flagrant obstruction” in the eyes of the president of the commission Fadila Khattabi (Renaissance), who decided to dismiss them.

She then had her decision approved by the office of the instance, despite strong protests from the left.

“Our constitutional right to table amendments has been flouted,” denounced socialist Arthur Delaporte.

“The maneuvers of Macronie and LR deputies (…) do not honor our democracy or our republican principles”, reacted the president of the RN deputies, Marine Le Pen.

These new games around pensions had started in a heated atmosphere in the morning in the crowded room of the commission, which the journalists were forced to leave.

On the initiative of this bill, the rapporteur Charles de Courson (Liot) pleaded in vain for an “opportunity to come out on top” of this crisis which has brought down to several hundred thousand demonstrators in the streets. He proposed to explore new “avenues” of financing such as “a higher contribution from heritage income”.

The leader of the Renaissance deputies Aurore Bergé joked about the change of foot of Charles de Courson, veteran of the Assembly, who for a long time played, according to her, the role of “Don Quixote of our public finances”. He turned into “Che Guevara de la Marne”, mocked Alexandre Vincendet (LR).

Even adopted by the Assembly, Liot’s bill would have little chance of succeeding in the legislative plan. But it embarrasses the executive, worried about the political signal that such a vote would send, just a few weeks after the promulgation of the reform.

Elisabeth Borne accused the opposition of lying to the French “by carrying, with the greatest demagogy, a text which everyone knows here, for good, that it would be censored by the Constitutional Council”.

The majority deputies insist that it should not even be examined, because it derogates from article 40 of the Constitution, which provides that a bill must not create a public office.

However, the repeal of the retirement age at 64 would cost more than 15 billion euros according to the executive, furious that the chairman of the Finance Committee Éric Coquerel (LFI) considered despite this that this bill was “admissible “.

The presidential camp intends to brandish this strong argument of Article 40 again before June 8.

The scenario that is emerging is that the President of the National Assembly Yaël Braun-Pivet herself invokes the ax of financial admissibility in order to challenge the amendments which will be tabled to restore the article of repeal of the 64 years.

This would result in preventing a vote in the hemicycle, where the balance of power would be less favorable to the presidential camp than in committee.

Faced with this “denial of democracy”, “a motion of censure will eventually pass, perhaps in a not so distant time”, warned Charles de Courson.

05/31/2023 20:40:45 –         Paris (AFP) –         © 2023 AFP