Pension reform in France: one two three go!

France’s President Macron has signed the controversial pension reform into law — just hours after the French Constitutional Council approved its key points. However, the very points that would have been advantageous for workers were deleted from the law for formal reasons. Macron defended his stance in a televised speech on Monday, saying that he was giving himself 100 days — until Bastille Day — to pacify the country.

Club Z (BG) /

If only Bulgaria had such a statesman

Club Z admires Macron’s resolve and assertiveness:

“He seems to be on track to achieving what his predecessors Chirac, Sarkozy and Hollande failed to do — put the generous French social model on a solid economic footing. ... Yet it would have been much more convenient for the French president to pass on the hot potato of the pension reform to his successor than face trouble over it for the rest of his term. ... If only Bulgaria had a statesman like Macron who was able to stand up for a principled position with the same assertiveness and not pigheadedly act in favour of party interests.”

Vesselin Jelev
Dnevnik (SI) /

From a lesser to a greater evil

Macron is playing into Marine Le Pen’s hands, says Dnevnik:

“The French are also rejecting the reform because it’s a Macron project, that of an ‘absolutist monarch’ who sides with the rich, especially on taxes, while the gap between them and the lower classes is widening. He doesn’t even want to think about the fact that he was only re-elected a year ago because they didn’t want Marine Le Pen as president. According to polls, the far-right party, which supports peaceful protests but not blockades of roads and refineries, stands to gain most from the current crisis.”

Mihael Šorl
Les Echos (FR) /

President faces multiple tasks

Macron must now put every effort into avoiding a crisis of democracy, Les Echos warns:

“For now, the challenge the president faces is to avoid using angry words in addressing the already discontented French. In the short term, it is now a question of opening a new chapter with a focus on content rather than just words on real-life issues (inflation and work). In the medium term, he must get out of the trap of the relative majority (political, but also social), because four years of inaction this time would usher in a real democratic crisis.”

Dominique Seux