The mobilization of the French against the pension reform of this Thursday forces the government to react. But today, the question that arises is to know what it can really do. What measures and concessions are possible? Concretely, what is the executive’s room for maneuver on the text? Europe 1 takes stock.
There is no doubt that the pension reform is contested. This Thursday, the strike mobilized 1.2 million French people according to the police and more than 2 million, according to the CGT. But backtracking would undermine Emmanuel Macron’s credibility. Backing down is not an option. Because in fact, the government’s room for maneuver on this pension reform is very small. But it is almost non-existent because the text presented by Élisabeth Borne has already been heavily amended.
A balance to be found
The lowering of the legal retirement age to 64 and the acceleration of the extension of the contribution period will bring in nearly 18 billion euros by 2030. At this date, the deficit of the pension system is estimated at 13 billion euros. The reform would therefore generate a surplus of 5 billion euros. Except that there are accompanying measures such as early departures for disability or long careers, combining employment/retirement, the minimum pension at 1,200 euros, should cost some 5 billion additional euros.
The room for maneuver is low and that is an understatement. In the majority, a rule of calculation is repeated: a concession is equal to 1 billion euros. It would not miss any more that the reform costs more than what it is supposed to bring back.