“I’m ready to move”, “we have to move”… Before the second round of the presidential election, Emmanuel Macron multiplies the promises of inflection of his political line. For the outgoing head of state, the objective is clear: to listen to the concerns of the French people and thus seduce the popular and left-wing electorate. Franceinfo looks back at how the Elysée tenant does “to move” its line, at the margin.
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On the pension reform: “I am ready to move”
The day after the first round, during a trip to Denain (Pas-de-Calais), where Marine Le Pen clearly came out on top, Emmanuel Macron said he was ready to “to move” on pension reform. “If there is too much tension” and “it can build consensus”the president-candidate could “to open the door” a postponement of the retirement age to 64 rather than 65. “I’m ready to change the relationship with time and say that we don’t necessarily make a reform until 2030 if I feel too much anxiety among people. Because we can’t say on Sunday evening ‘I want gather’ and when we go to listen to people say ‘I’m not moving'”he justified
The pension reform project triggered long transport strikes in the fall of 2019. At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the majority presented pension reform as the “mother of reforms”. Muted for almost two years, the project was put back on the table during the presentation of the program of the outgoing president, at the beginning of March, generating new tensions.
Faced with the unpopularity of his reform, Emmanuel Macron now displays an open position. What the candidate of the RN calls to take with precaution. “Here is a man who comes to tell us, ‘I may use the referendum’ when he has never used it in five years”reacted Marine Le Pen on France Inter, denouncing “a profoundly unjust reform”. According to her, “There is nothing to expect from Emmanuel Macron in this area, he will go after this obsession”.
“We often talked about the chameleon president, there it becomes a weather vane”, criticized on franceinfo the communicator Emilie Zapalski. For Vincent Martigny, professor of political science at the University of Nice and at the Ecole polytechnique, this development on such a divisive subject for the electorate on the left “can be effective”. Asked about franceinfo, he believes that Emmanuel Macron has not, however, “not used to negotiation, compromise”. According to him, “very often”the LREM candidate says:“I listen, I hear all the opinions and in the end I will decide.” This time, “he is somewhat obliged to do things differently, which is not trivial for him”.
On the disabled adult allowance: “we must move”
Friday, on franceinfo, Emmanuel Macron was asked about the deconjugalization of the disabled adult allowance (AAH). The AAH is intended to compensate for the inability to work. It has more than 1.2 million beneficiaries, 270,000 of whom live with a partner. Since April 1, its amount has been increased to 919.86 euros, against 903.60 euros previously.
Lucie Carrasco, with a disability, told the microphone of franceinfo that she was going to lose this allowance by getting married soon. But this help allows him to be financially independent. “What do you recommend ? she asked Emmanuel Macron. Do I listen to my heart and get married, but I become a burden, who in addition to being physically dependent on my husband, become financially dependent, or do I retain my dignity as a woman and my independence? ?”
“Choose love (…) we must move on this point”replied the president-candidate, pointing “an aberrant situation for people with disabilities”. “There are several answers, either do this [déconjugaliser l’AAH]or to have an income which allows support, but which is not conditioned, so that there is not this cleaver which is absurd today”he said.
Lucie Carrasco questions the candidate about the AAH ➡️ “Choose love”, replies Emmanuel Macron. “We have to move on this point”, he assures. pic.twitter.com/IP1ufMDMKc
— franceinfo (@franceinfo) April 15, 2022
This position taken by Emmanuel Macron is a surprise. Not only does the measure not appear in its program, but the deconjugalization of the AAH has already been challenged twice by Parliament (in particular by the elected representatives of the majority), and always rejected by the government under its five-year term.
The Secretary of State for People with Disabilities, Sophie Cluzel, argued in June that deconjugalizing the AAH would pose computer difficulties, an argument that had earned her criticism. Faced with opposition, Sophie Cluzel had also denounced “a miserable view of disability”even though activists and associations such as APF France Handicap have been calling for it for many years (PDF). The deconjugalization of the AAH (or its individualization) was again rejected by the National Assembly, in December 2021. The government considered the measure unfair, seeing it as a “dead end”.
On the tip of the officials: “it will move, it will go up”
Emmanuel Macron was also questioned on Friday on franceinfo by a woman recently established in the public service. She hopes for an increase in the index point for civil servants, which serves as the basis for calculating the salaries of 5.5 million public officials.
“For the point [d’indice]it will move, it will go up for all civil servants, but it will be the result of consultation and the work that will be carried out by the government”said Emmanuel Macron. “In the summer, we want to carry out a complete reform of the grids and the organization of the public service, concerted and negotiated, because the system in categories C, B and A is very rigid and is out of breath. And then, there will be a revaluation of the point so that it allows to accompany the elements of purchasing power”detailed the outgoing president.
Estelle, civil servant, questions E. Macron on his measures for the public service ➡️ “The minimum index of the public service will be upgraded”, just like the Smic, announces the president-candidate. “There will be a revaluation of the point”, but he does not give a figure. pic.twitter.com/t2a1NlohY3
— franceinfo (@franceinfo) April 15, 2022
In mid-March, the government had announced a thaw of the index point, on which it refused to “to move” since 2017. Amélie de Montchalin, Minister for the Transformation of the public service, had promised a revaluation by next summer to take account of galloping inflation (+4.5% over one year in March). This measure unveiled less than a month before the first round of the presidential election is “not electoralist, but economic” defended the executive.
>> Purchasing power: seven questions on the announced thaw of the civil servants’ index point
Emmanuel Macron refused to quantify this revaluation. But Luc Farré, secretary general of Unsa-Public service immediately reacted on Twitter, signaling that he was demanding a 10% increase. Same request from the CGT union of territorial agents (FDSP-CGT), which demanded, at the end of March, a “immediate revaluation of the index point by 10%”. The secretary general of the CFDT, Laurent Berger, spoke out in early April for an increase of“at least three points”.