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Validation of the Pension Reform in France: A Decision with Far-reaching Consequences

Validation of the Pension Reform in France: A Decision with Far-reaching Consequences



The highly contested French pension reform was validated by the Constitutional Council on Friday, April 14 at 6 p.m., French time. The Constitutional Council is a French institution that verifies the conformity with the Constitution of the laws before it. Emmanuel Macron was then able to quickly promulgate the reform that will soon come into force. The French president will address the nation on Monday evening, April 17.

The day before, Thursday, April 13, marked the 13th day of mobilization against the reform. After weeks of roaring social protest, the reform was finally validated. Thus, the discontent of the demonstrators will not have been heard by the French government. The street goes wild. Many degradations are observed here and there. The Paris headquarters of the luxury group LVMH run by Bernard Arnault, the richest man in the world, was invaded and defaced. Significantly, the police station in Rennes (Brittany, western region of France) was set on fire. 

It is a strong symbol that underlines the contempt for state institutions displayed by opponents of the pension reform. Internationally, the media comment extensively on the rest of Macron's five-year term and the many difficulties he will face. So to speak, all observers are therefore questioning the political credibility of the French president.


A Narrow-Minded President 


The French president denies any accusation of deceit. He claims not to have trapped the French because the pension reform was presented as a flagship measure of his second term. While he was running in the presidential election, this reform, the object of the current wrath of the people against him, figured in his program. Emmanuel Macron believes he was elected by his voters with full knowledge of the facts. Yet some argue otherwise. 

In reality, Macron was absolutely not elected on the basis of his program. Indeed, it was then a question of making a common front and blocking Marine Le Pen and her extremist party, then at the gates of power. The French president was elected by only 27.60 % of the voters. Also, 42 % of them say they voted for Emmanuel Macron only to prevent the far-right candidate, Marine Le Pen from becoming president. One year into the President-in-Office second term, it seems that the opposite is happening.


An Extremist Breakthrough 


In recent days, many polls attest to a growth in the popularity of Marine Le Pen since she reached 39 % of favorable opinion, her highest rate. According to another poll, the daughter of the founder of the National Rally party Marine Le Pen would ensure a victory in the 2022 presidential elections against Emmanuel Macron if the elections were held now.  

The emblematic figure of the party is due to win 55 % of the vote.  This is explained in particular by the populist image and closeness to the people conveyed by the RN (National Rally). Emmanuel Macron embodies the president of the rich, a nickname that is regularly decked out to him in addition to the qualifier of "Jupiterian", underlining his tendency to live outside the reality of the French.

Together, protesters and trade unions are calling for a historic May 1st mobilization against the reform. This day commemorates Labor Day nationally, a symbol for the French. Many protesters already claim that Emmanuel Macron has shot himself in the foot for the rest of his mandate, which promises to be eventful.

Edited by Sean Mulryan

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