“We will be in a very offensive attitude”: how the left intends to oppose the pension reform in the National Assembly

“We will be in a very offensive attitude”: how the left intends to oppose the pension reform in the National Assembly

Consideration of the government’s bill is due to begin in the Assembly on Monday, February 17.

The deputies during the session of questions to the government at the National Assembly, February 11, 2020, in Paris.  (THIERRY THOREL / NURPHOTO / AFP)

Will the parliamentary debate on pension reform end before even starting? While the bill must be submitted to the deputies for reading, Monday, February 17, the opposition does not intend to give up in the face of this contested text. If the government still aims for a final vote before the summer, the deputies of the Socialist Party, La France insoumise and the French Communist Party fully intend to use all the remedies in their possession to oppose the reform. We want to force the government to back down, warns Pierre Dharréville, communist deputy of Bouches-du-Rhône, questioned by franceinfo.

The elected representative of the Communist Party is one of the 71 members of the special retirement committee in charge of the first reading of the bill. Like the Socialist deputy Boris Vallaud, vice-chairman of the committee, he regrets not having had time to go to the end of the document with several thousand amendments – 21,782 to be exact. “We studied 26 or 27 articles, or a third of the text”, explains Boris Vallaud to franceinfo.The ordinary law will be presented on Monday at 4 pm without taking into account all the amendments voted ”, warns the elected socialist of the Landes. The examination of the text in the Assembly promises to be just as laborious: 41,000 amendments have been tabled.

Tight schedule for the government

Although he acknowledges that the study of the text was cut short, it was still instructive, he said: “This first reading allowed us to raise a lot of dead ends. In particular on indexation and its consequences or on the replacement rate which also concerns the generation born in 1975. ” This reading carried out at a run is a “The majority’s real desire to force its way through with an accelerated procedure” engaged by the government on January 24, deplores for its part Pierre Dharréville.

This accelerated procedure reduces the number of readings per chamber, National Assembly and Senate to one instead of two. Determined, the left opposition therefore intends to use all the legal procedures at its disposal: right to draw, numerous amendments and referendum motion.“We don’t obstruct, defends Boris Vallaud. We exercise the fullness of our parliamentary power. ”

Towards a referendum for reform?

From 4 pm this Monday, when the general discussion will begin in the Hemicycle, Socialists and “rebels” at the initiative of the Communists will then have half an hour, before the end of this discussion, to table a referendum motion. It allows their authors, who believe that it is “Just and necessary” to consult the people, to propose to the President of the Republic to submit the pension reform to a referendum.

The French Communist Party thus had a leaflet printed in 2.5 million copies. He even says to himself “Reinforced” in his draft referendum motion by a Ifop survey carried out at the initiative of the dailies Humanity and The Marseillaise and published February 13. According to this opinion poll, more than one in two French people are in favor of the establishment of a referendum on pension reform. They would even 56% to vote against the establishment of“A universal point-based pension system”.

A mess of amendments

Pierre Dharréville is “confident” for Monday. “To present this motion, we need 58 signatures, ie one tenth of the Chamber. In principle, there is no problem. ” The debate will be temporarily interrupted by the tabling of this motion.“It will then be examined with a view to being adopted by the majority of those present”, specifies the Communist deputy.But he does not forget that pIn order to present this referendum motion, it is necessary, unlike a motion of censure, that all the signatories be present in the Chamber when it is presented. The PCF set about motivating the troops.

The PS has meanwhile already used its “drawing rights” to request the implementation of a commission of inquiry into the impact study on February 10. This committee must take place in parallel with the parliamentary debate. “It does not hinder the debates in any way. She can even enrich them given the poor quality and approximations of the impact study ”, judge Boris Vallaud. Each group has such a right (once per group and per session) to create this type of commission of inquiry.

The socialist group also planned to file “More amendments than in special committee”.“For us, this is an opportunity to improve things and to question the government so that it clearly answers our questions”, justifies Boris Vallaud. Just like Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the president of the group La France Insoumise, who has already promised a “noria” of amendments, comparable to that in committee. The “rebels” had in fact deposited more than 19,000 of amendments.

Article 49.3 to pass by force?

How will the government react? For now, the left opposition does not want to think about the possibility of a “49.3” or a “Blocked vote” that the government could use to “To cut short the debate”. These two articles of the Constitution in fact allow the passage of the text in force: without voting it with article 49.3 or by having the text voted en bloc by the National Assembly, and not article by article, the text enriched only by amendments proposed or accepted by the government, as explained The world.

The French Communist Party has already planned “Other actions”, if his referendum motion was rejected during the vote in the National Assembly. “But you will understand that for the moment they are kept secret”, concludes Pierre Dharréville.