Macron’s “great debate” is never ending. There was Macron’s visit in Corsica, that many elected officials boycotted. There is Edouard Philippe’s “summary” of the debates today, during which he speaks of “fiscal exasperation” but won’t go as far as reinstating the tax on wealth. And mid-April there will be the first government’s announcements, which could last until summer.
Macron’s aim when he started this “great bla-bla” was to gain time and wait for the yellow jacket movement to die down.
But that did not happen. Despite police repression, despite the smear campaign against it, the yellow jacket movement is still going strong, showing up in the streets every Saturday, like this Saturday in La Defense. The movement is getting organised and sets up meetings, as in Saint-Nazaire the previous weekend, when over 700 delegates met to discuss how to keep fighting against the government of the rich.
Pensions are targeted
Nothing significant will come out of Macron’s “great debate.” In the meantime, the government keeps attacking the working class, with the coming pension reform.
Gerald Darmanin mentioned the possibility of raising retirement age. Jean-Paul Delevoye, who was tasked with preparing the reform, on the other hand says such a change should not be adopted. It seems that some people in government fear the reactions that such an announcement could provoke. In any case, the government really plans to cut down on retirement benefits by changing the formula for calculating pensions. The minimum retirement age of 62 is already not a possibility for a large number of employees, since 43 years of contributions are needed to get a so-called “full rate” pension.
They will explain we must accept these cuts on our future pensions because there would be too many pensioners relative to active workers. They keep repeating that with increased life expectancy, we cannot avoid retiring at a later age or with a smaller pension, or both.
But it is the capitalist society that is to blame. By keeping a large fraction of workers unemployed or on low wages, it limits pension funds income. What is the logic of keeping young people in precarious conditions, on one side, and make people work past 60, on the other?
For Macron and his social class, the natural order of things is to take on the working class’ living standards while big bosses get retirement benefits worth millions. There is nothing natural in this. We must refuse their natural order!
Primary and secondary schools are sacrificed
The unceasing yellow jacket mobilisation contributes to an atmosphere of protest staying strong. The teachers’ mobilisation against minister Jean-Michel Blanquer’s reforms and against the lack of means in Education is also getting stronger, as we saw with the demonstrations and strikes on April 4th. Joining all our angers together could change everything.
On both sides of the Mediterranean
In Algeria, widespread mobilisation managed to overcome all attempts to keep Bouteflika as president; he had no other choice than resigning. But the Algerian people know that removing a president is not enough to change the system. They keep their mobilisation strong. The Algerian leaders are worried, not knowing how to put an end to this protest.