Feb 2, 2023
France’s Le Maire Expects Lawmaker Majority for Pension Reform
(Bloomberg) -- French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said he’s confident the government will get its unpopular pension reform through parliament without resorting to controversial constitutional measures to bypass a vote.
President Emmanuel Macron faces a growing backlash against his plan to increase the minimum retirement age by two years to 64, raising doubts over whether he can secure the votes of the conservative Republicains that he needs after his party lost its absolute majority in the National Assembly.
Failing that, the government would have to use exceptional provisions to ram the bill past lawmakers, potentially stoking the anger of protesters and risking a no-confidence vote.
“I’m convinced the Republicains will vote for this reform and we’ll get a majority,” Le Maire said on LCI television on Thursday. “It’s always preferable to go to the trouble of building a majority in parliament as that provides political legitimacy for the implementation of this reform.”
The social affairs commission is currently debating more than 7,000 amendments to the pension bill before it goes to the floor of the National Assembly next week. Le Maire said the government can still accept changes in the debate with lawmakers, so long as the reform still eliminates deficits in the pension system by 2030.
“There are margins for negotiation and discussion in parliament,” Le Maire said.
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