Macron’s mandate ‘at stake’ over ‘wildly unpopular’ plan

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Emmanuel Macron’s mandate is “at stake” over his “wildly unpopular” pension plan, a French politician has claimed. Polling suggests that the vast majority of French people are opposed to the President’s proposed reform.

The President is looking to raise the retirement age from 62 to 65 by 2031.

He has argued this is key for resolving France’s financial issues and to putting more into services, including education.

The plan is not, however, among the French people, with some polls suggesting at least 70 percent are opposed.

Members of the National Assembly have also raised complaints, by Mr Macron is understood to have devised a plan should these step out of line.

He has threatened to “instantly” dissolve the parliament if French MPs block his pension reforms.

This has sparked further criticism over the President’s conduct.

National Assembly member Francois Ruffin said this would put Mr Macron’s mandate at stake.

He told Le Figaro: “The mandate at stake today is not the mandate of the deputies, it is the mandate of the President of the Republic.”

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Mr Ruffin added that should the President force the closure of the National Assembly, a referendum should take place on the reforms.

He said a national vote should be held “if Macron wants to force through his pension reform… it is his reform that he wants to pass at all costs. So it’s his mandate that is in question.”

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The journalist-cum-politicians previously said of the proposed reforms: “After two years of the Covid crisis, with people exhausted, with Emmanuel Macron re-elected without any momentum or enthusiasm, when people don’t know whether they can pay their bills… in this time of exasperation and democracy fatigue, he is going to defy the vast majority of French people – 70 percent to 80 percent according to the polls – and impose pension reform by force.”

Writing in The Local FR, John Lichfield described the policy as “wildly unpopular” and “badly timed”.

Despite this, he suggested that it was “essential for France”.

The President is likely to struggle pushing the reform through parliament, where he no longer holds an absolute majority.

He has been warned that pushing it through regardless would be a denial of democracy.

Additional reporting by Maria Ortega.

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