Beyond the classic war of figures between the organizers, the “occurrence” group and the government, everyone recognized that the number of participants in the demonstrations of Friday January 24 was greater than on the previous national day. With a background of constant support, with variables, of the population despite the difficulties caused by strikes and the media and government hype to oppose each other. Is this a sign of resumption of mobilization? Or a simple start when bills are presented to the Council of Ministers?
Anyway, the presentation of laws in the Council of Ministers and demonstrations testify that the confrontation continues.
A new event, always very lively, that never lets go ( « on lâche rien »). With a large first group, mixing Gilets jaunes, people unionized and unorganized. Behind them, a significant participation of groups who have come to add their own difficulties to the common demand against the pension counter-reform: lawyers, teachers, young people, significant presence of ATTAC, followed by the unions at the back of the demonstration, in particular from the CGT , more important.
The Constitution gives Emmanuel Macron and Édouard Philippe and their parliamentary majority the legal opportunity to override political, union and popular opposition. But they have just known a new and bitter disavowal, both political and technical, with the opinion of the Council of State (Coneil d’État) which confirms, very fortunately, that this counter-reform was also technically ill-prepared, and far from being universal , fair, balanced, simple … All qualifications that were already in doubt, including among the majority and the usual media supporters of the government.
What will Emmanuel Macron and his government do? Will they try, despite everything, to force their way? There is no doubt that it will not be as easy as they hoped.
Will they make concessions and try to obtain determined support from the reformist unions by abandoning, permanently, the painful pivot? In other words, disown Edouard Philippe and fall back on the Macron reform? Keep the essentials: the transition to retirement at points, the questioning of the status at RATP and SNCF in the perspective of opening up to the private sector. While maintaining specific regimes for regalian jobs? Will Édouard Philippe be thanked or kept in place to assume a strong political continuity with Castaner who defeats feet and hands …
The solution will take into account speculations on the presidential electoral deadline: municipal elections are already abandoned to statistical manipulations on the one hand and to a voluntary underestimation to be able to say in two months that they are less disastrous than expected .
It also depends a lot on the mobilizations in the coming weeks. Will the population move from survey support to genuinely political support? Will non-unionized or unionized workers, whatever their organization, give the decisive boost?
The Macron revolution is coherent, it is paraphrased from a famous statement: everything that is good for the first of the rope is good for all the French. It consists of replacing the logic of solidarity with an individual financial logic. Some examples.
Macron replaced the ISF (Solidarity Wealth Tax) with the IFI (Real Estate Wealth Tax). Which consists in subtracting financial wealth from the solidarity tax to allow its holder to invest as he sees fit: in other words, to subtract from public decision, from public interest, from solidarity, to give to individual decision , in search of profit which can, of course, lie in investing in French companies (advanced reason) or foreign companies or better in hedge funds or investments of which one of the most powerful is known today by all: BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, with nearly $ 7 trillion whose main customers are institutional investors (Wikipedia). The company displays exceptional operating profitability: buy without hesitation (JDD 18/01/20).
Maintaining the tax on real estate wealth is an incentive for the most fortunate to disengage from investment in real estate, taxed, to switch to investment in finance, not taxed. However, it does not seem that there is too much housing in France!
This small gift with declining state resources is accompanied by the reduction of 5 euros per month per household in Personal Housing Assistance (APL). Reduction of levy for large. Recovery on the poorest!
On February 1, the Livret A and Livret du développement durable rates will be lowered to 0.5%, the historically lowest rate, with inflation close to 1%. For the Ministry of Finance, the rate of the Livret A is no longer intended to cover that of inflation (Le Monde 12/01/20). There are 55 million Livret A in France because it is the easiest way for many individuals to have some resources available in case of need. The ministry thinks that this drop in rates should encourage to put the savings in more dynamic investments! More risky! Encourage the poorest to risk their savings! To become a merchant! To tell small holders that they should invest them is to push them to take risks, to convert to stock market speculation? Waking up can be painful in the event of an economic downturn or unexpected funding needs. It was possible to lower the investment ceiling (currently 22,950 euros) and reserve this advice for holders of the most stocked notebooks! Small Livret A holders will probably be content to see their savings deteriorate rather than risk losing them.
The executive knows that its decision is very unpopular and concerns practically all households that hold one or more Livrets A. The remuneration has become paltry. For Bruno Le Maire, maintaining a rate of 0.75% would have been irresponsible in relation to our policy of investment diversification. And irresponsible for the thousands of people waiting for social housing. In fact, reducing the rate to 0.50% will make it possible to build 17,000 additional social housing units and renovate 52,000 of them each year. The measure penalizes savers but would strengthen the housing policy … He forgets to say that to compensate for this drop in the rate of Livrets, he forced social landlords to reduce rents and therefore their means. In other words, he organized a 3-band coup on the back of the poor and a more discreet operation, for the benefit of the banks. Because they benefit from 40% of the sums collected: they will remunerate this savings at the rate of 0.5% instead of 0.75%: a gift of 400 million euros (Liberation 18/01/20). It is interesting to note that the minister justifies this measure by pitting small and poorly housed savers, not to mention the benefits that banks derive from it. He never said how many homes could have been built with the amount of the gift made with the removal of the ISF.
The reform provides for a single retirement contribution rate of 28.12% on wages, but income above 120,000 euros per year will not give entitlement to retirement and will only be subject to a rate 2.81% of contributions, used to help balance the system. The sums which will not contribute to the balance of the system, on salaries above 10,000 euros per month, give a lot of hope to private insurance or other pension or investment funds.
Emmanuel Macron’s Liberal Revolution is underway: all free, all equal, all fraternal; all punters, all against all. Never stand in solidarity!
NB: even if work resumes without the total withdrawal of the reform project, the strikers have obtained a certain number of concessions. And no one knows what will happen in the days, weeks to come … One thing remains, the strikers are suffering a lot financially. Financial solidarity will be appreciated. Morally. Financially.
Below are some images of the January 16, 2020 demonstration in Paris. With greater participation from the teaching and cultural communities … And also police: on the route, many streets were closed by wire barriers …
In a letter to the social partners, the reformist Édouard Philippe is willing to replace the pivotal age with the balanced age of 64 in the plan to reform the pension system. And, as often, the form confirms the substance. Édouard Philippe does not withdraw, he is, in majesty, willing to withdraw, temporarily. Subject to an agreement between the social partners before the end of April. And under threat of taking by prescription the measures necessary to reach equilibrium in 2027.
Laurent Berger, adorning himself with peacock feathers, is proud to have obtained the withdrawal of the pivotal age, a victory for the CFDT! Of course the strike month has nothing to do with it! But he considers it necessary to continue (his) action for a fairer and more united retirement system!
The social partners? Medef agrees, we will not increase contributions. The CFDT also (the CGT is not, in the eyes of the Prime Minister, partners). If, unexpectedly, the CFDT did not agree, what could it do to oppose the orders? Definitely not a strike. Laurent Berger doesn’t like that. Neither demonstrations. If the CFDT had clearly joined the inter-union, the government would not have waited more than a month to abandon a measure that was not planned by Emmanuel Macron!
Who, for the moment, has played well. In the background, he let Édouard Philippe and the CFDT play, to oppose. To get the chestnuts out of the fire at the cost of a long strike, a few transitional measures that do not change anything fundamental to his initial plan. If not to multiply the paths facilitating the division of workers and ultimately leading to the goal decided initially.
Still, it’s not all over. Laurent Berger surpasses satisfaction. MEDEF savored, almost in silence. But the discontent builds up. It will speak. In two (municipal) months? In two years (presidential)?
The President of the Republic, the Prime Minister will not always get by on skills. By multiple categorical variants of transition to arrive at a universal regression system. By a new great debate. Multiple small debates (ecology, police). Macron, at mid-term, did not spark the creative enthusiasm he imagined after his election but two years of hard conflict.
What will this new long conflict lead to, without any real concessions? On bitterness, resignation? On the revolt? A unit, of low intensity certainly, is being born between Yellow Vests and trade unionists. Will it find its political extension?
The President of the Republic, the Prime Minister will closely follow the social movements of next week.
This is the question the media never ask. And yet. It could be in the coming days the fundamental question. Reformable in both senses of the word. Can he reform, depending on the political situation, can he agree to review his pension plan? Must be reformed, retired. In other words, submit or resign.
Question that may seem incongruous. But which arises after three years of records by Emmanuel Macron.
Shaking vigorously the coconut palm tree, Emmanuel Macron succeeded in setting aside many politicians and obtaining a comfortable parliamentary majority without real opposition: devastated left, marginalized, demonetized institutional right, it played the small French finance, he plays the big, international ..
Become the republican monarch, without real political experience, closer to the dollar than the bottom of the cows, Emmanuel Macron thought that everything was allowed. Playing me and the people, he wanted to take his place, all his place, without an intermediary body, assured that his judicious word would lead everyone.
But what can we see?
That the Republic experienced a first year of citizen revolt, around the roundabouts but apart from all the crosswalk and Macron had to concede a few billion. And some grenades which were not only tear gas and which have, perhaps, discouraged a certain number of Giets Jaunes (GJ yellow vests) but are not without consequences on the good running of the Republic: a considerable number of wounded, definitively amputated of a member or with an eye without counting the poor lady who was condemned for having wanted to close her window during the passage of a demonstration.
With another collateral consequence, an even greater gap between the people and the police, an increasingly right-wing police whose government must ensure its loyalty, with a few medals and the maintenance of a special regime …
The Yellow Vests protests weakened but persistent, Macron then launched his pension reform reform and it was the longest union dispute in the Fifth Republic. Small self-reform, Macron sends his ministers, especially his Prime Minister, to the front and remains behind while watching.
He apparently retains two possibilities: to forcefully and humiliate the two main union forces, CGT and CFDT, his dream, alone in front of the people but a people who risk being more rebellious than expected. Or give in on part of the reform which was not initially in his plan and make the CFDT the main interlocutor but strengthened after more than a month of strikes in which it did not participate.
The media, who do not wonder whether Macron is reformable, speculate every day on the weakening of the strike movement. Not on its strength, not on its persistence despite the financial difficulties of the strikers. Who predicted this strike would last so long? Who predicted that the majority of the population would support it, as polls indicate, as they supported the Yellow Vests to the end? And yet the polls are done neither at the request of the GJ, nor at the request of the unions!
On the other pan of the balance appear the divisions within the right or of the pro-government parliamentarians? Certainly the non-Macron right is opposed because Macron does what it would have liked to do and pushes it to the higher bid, to the fault. But reluctance exists within the presidential majority. And it is not certain that Edouard Philippe and Emmanuel Macron support each other fraternally. Nor that Macron is assured of the loyalty of the parliamentarians of LREM who return every weekend to their constituency. Nor that LREM is accumulating enthusiastic candidates for the approaching elections…
There is no doubt that if Macron was afraid in the stomach on the eve of the summer vacation, he is not yet rid of it. And his rotting policy, against a background of no political alternative, is at the mercy of the explosion from any incident.
In the meantime, everything must be done for the success of the demonstrations, the support of the strikers, the solidarity funds with the strikers are open …
RATP help for strikers!
For Parisians who can, transfer the reimbursement amount from the December Navigo pass to the solidarity funds…
For more information on the pension « reform »: (in french)
Since the denied turn of 1983, France has entered a long sequence, champ-contrechamp, right-left, and drawn into a spiral of continuous social regression following the triumphant liberalism of Margaret Thatcher breaking the unions of miners and Ronald Reagan that of the air traffic controllers. Relayed in Germany by the social democrat Gerhard Schröder and the work-study association SPD and CDU-CSU (social democracy and Christian democracy). The other countries of the European Union have gradually aligned themselves with mighty Germany. The big parties in France, whatever their name, have only followed the same path.
This long period TINA (There is no alternative) is not without serious consequences: increased inequality, social and political regression with disintegration of government parties and rise of right-wing and far-right populism. All accompanied by small indignant jumps of moderate democrats who, after each electoral defeat, hasten to affirm that, the worst not having happened, everything was fine, that politics, the only possible, was the right one, that ‘It was only necessary to continue it and even to accentuate it.
Right-wing and far-right populism in the European Parliament has not yet reached the level of blocking like in the Council, with the necessary unanimity in certain decisions, but the PES-EPP duo have lost the absolute majority.
All this and even the long and painful Brexit, the first exit from a country of the European Union, does not change anything to the blissful optimism: these British islanders voted for an irresponsible clown like the uncultivated Americans for a rude and ignorant character …
Fortunately, this is not the case in France where a centrist white angel, neither left nor right, who, by his youth, his dynamism, his interpersonal skills, his financial support, appeared to avoid the worst essential and transform the old country into a young growth: modern, computerized, profitable on the condition of eliminating the refractory Gauls, the illiterate and others less than nothing …
But the new world resembles, in certain aspects, the old world: since spring 2017, 16 ministers have resigned, including only one for political reasons and at least 8 forced for problems which have nothing glorious! We are far, however, from Nicolas Sarkozy and his large directory of lawyers.
To be satisfied with sarcasm on this renewed old world or to make the list of arrogant, contemptuous words of the young first would be a serious error. This should only make it clear that Emmanuel Macron is hardly embarrassed by his scruples or his compassion. Simply forced, again and again, to explain what he is the only one to understand.
The young Macron is dangerous by an unlimited ambition, linked to the new great forces of international liberal capitalism (the relations between Emmanuel Macron and the men of Blackrock displayed in broad daylight are the example of the moment). Using and serving to achieve his ends the international financial forces and political and police resources of the State whatever the obstacles.
He was elected in the face of politicians who, from the left or the right, have pursued the same policy since François Mitterrand and raised the far right by their conversion to European liberalism. Above all, he was elected, not for his program but against the far right, by a large majority of voters in the second round. Majority which allowed Jacques Chirac to do nothing and which allows Emmanuel Macron to do what he wants, despite the late scruples of some elected officials who were not very perceptive disappointed by this or that aspect of a rightist policy, however coherent.
An ambition driven at full speed, at least in its first part: reforming France, taking the lead in a liberal Europe and playing in the top three, United States, China, Europe, in other words, Emmanuel Macron, what whatever the price…. for the French and Europeans. And for the future of the planet because reforms cannot affect the interests of those who rule the world.
To do this, he must first change France and the French: align economic and financial policy with that of Germany. This presupposes that the policy begun by its predecessors should be carried out smoothly: compliance with the Maastricht criteria, that is, breaking all popular resistance, yellow vests or unions, in particular the CGT. At the same time, if it was possible to also break the CFDT which, on several occasions, give its hand … He showed his willingness to speak directly to the people and his contempt for the intermediary bodies, characteristic of populists. And a more and more limping ni-left-nor-right with the use of immigration or the most violent police repression since the war in Algeria.
To comply with the Maastricht criteria, his financial policy made him the president of the wealthy: transformation of the ISF into an IFI, to direct the money supply towards the financing of businesses (French?) And above all much more lucrative speculation (in 2019 , the soaring stock markets contrast with the diminished growth of the world economy) and the maintenance of the tax on real estate (no need for investments in housing?) much less easy to use, reduction of social contributions decreasing the revenue, opening up interesting prospects for pension or investment funds (Blackrock, evening visitor to Macron), privatization of Paris Airport after the great success of that of Toulouse-Blagnac airport… Of course to the detriment of the poor people through the destruction of solidarity from the end of the PLA to organized austerity with the reduction of jobs, the disappearance of public services … and pension reform.
With the hope of becoming the good pupil of the European Union at a very favorable time: Brexit, weakening, perhaps unsustainable, of Germany: Angela Merkel’s imminent departure, absence of a clear majority, aging of the population, economic difficulties … A favorable moment also to make the European Union a true liberal power.
To have his hands even freer on the international scene, Emmanuel Macron tries to detach France from an overly visible imperialist past or, at least to detach its image from: since the denunciation of the crime against humanity in Algeria, past almost unnoticed and yet inadmissible for a candidate for the presidency of the Republic if it is not followed, upon coming to power, of an important initiative for a great reconciliation … until the disappearance of the CFA in Africa, a sign of the subjugation of the former African colonies, replaced by the Eco with some ulterior motives on a renunciation-substitution…
Having greatly weakened the intermediary bodies, the unions in particular, having satisfied its national and international financial support, apparently rid of a bulky past, Jupiter would then be free to represent itself under the same conditions as in 2017 with the same result and to to project at the head of a liberal Europe perfectly suited to the interests of large multinationals.
Multinationals which are already shaping the new world with financial means superior to those of many States, technical means of influence more and more effective on the individual and collective decisions!
With this in mind, the old, perfected means that their yellow vests have experimented with on their injured bodies are perhaps only an anecdote but are above all a warning for all those who would like to oppose this new world by market.
It is not certain that the people, here as elsewhere, accept this future that is being prepared for them, this planned crushing. Increasing inequalities, between and within countries, jeopardizes relative democracy, as known until now, and cares little, beyond declarations, about the viability of the planet.
The French people and its government have yellow in common, dreaming for some, a nightmare for others.
Even the trees start to yellow early, and the lawns … And François de Rugy who, after his yellow card makes amends, refunds the excess drinks of his guests, and replaces the champagne bubbles by the yellow pastis, less « people » and more « peuple », much cheaper. As well for François de Rugy as for the taxpayers.
The fans have eyes only for the yellow victorious Gilets jaunes(1), certainly expensive suffering, and the yellow victorious Maillot jaune at the Rond-Point (des Champs Elysées) or on the Champs (Elysées)… Alone, Emmanuel Macron laughs yellow (2) in his Palace before crossing the street to go, fear in the stomach (1), shake the hand of people for whom it is a great honor to be in yellow (3).
Maillot jaune ? Gilets jaunes ?
1 – Les braises de la crise des gilets jaunes couvent toujours et… quelques milliards d’euros ne suffiront pas à apaiser le pays assure l’un des ministres présents. Le Président nous a dit de partir en vacances la peur au ventre. Le Monde 23/07/19
2 – Un humoriste c’est un philosophe qui rit jaune. (Émile Coderre). Emmanuel Macron est-il un philosophe ? Un humoriste ?
3 – Julian Alaphilippe
4 – The yellow is also » Atelier des Lumières Van Gogh, la nuit étoilée, must be seen in Paris.
The Fête à Macron, a festive event launched by François Ruffin and Frédéric Loridon, was a real popular success. It is enough to note that the demonstration began on the Place de l’Opera (Paris) at 12:30 and ended Place de la Bastille … well, much later.How many people will have participated in the 5 or 6 hours of the event?And how to count them?
This is to say how difficult it is to make a reliable count by putting yourself on one or two points of the course when many of the participants came at the beginning only to picnic on Place de l’Opera, when others took the procession on the march or went directly to its terminus …
When we love, we do not count and it is useless to want to decide between the appreciations of the ones and of the others which go from more than 39 000 participants to 160 000!To say the importance of the event, just remember that the Prefecture of Police found more participants on May 5th than May 1st.
It must also be added that the authorities had announced incidents for the May 1st demonstration and that this coud cool some potential participants.
If the aggressive expression of Fête à Macron was able to shock some, what struck on the Place de l’Opéra, cleared of all car traffic, it was the festive calm … the picnic hasinvaded the steps of the Palais Garnier, the sidewalks and even the asphalt and the sellers of sandwiches, drinks, books in solidarity, the associative stands and music …
Of course, behind the quiet calm of a happy crowd to be there with the nice weather back, to say its rejection of right-wing and… right-wing politics, the political battles continue.It was an event launched by François Ruffin and La France insoumise was everywhere but we could also note the presence, perhaps small in number but how symbolic of trade union formations and leftist politics.
This allows to hope for a manifestation, even more important, truly unitary, already announced for May 26.
During his electoral campaign, Emmanuel Macron goes to Berlin, the custom would like me to speak in French (1) he says: he chooses English to address the French people and Germans who understand, obviously, neither French neither German but, of course, all understand English. It’s normal, it’s modern, there is no French culture, it’s not very Gaullien: other people, other manners. But was he only addressing the French and the Germans? To what French, to what Germans? Let’s be clear. During his trips to London in preparation for his campaign, he spoke mostly liberal, tinged with a request for financial support.
The place, the subjects, the interlocutors lent themselves well to the use of English.
In many official speeches or interviews, President Macron, whose classmates, among others, do not deny knowledge, wishes to show it. He uses Latin phrases or obsolete words. Listeners or readers consult the dictionary or their newspaper or simply ignore them. But these words join a certain presidential tradition where chien-lit, quarteron, machin or abracadabrantesque and even cabri preceded them. So many winks (2) They affirm the character.
Emmanuel Macron also speaks the language of the private company: already present in the public companies, it makes its entry in the government and in his political organization, stuffed with the Anglicisms of circumstance: benchmark, bottom up, bullish, disrupt, draft, processé ( !), staffer(!), political start-up, start-up nation, top down … Language but also thought and values. Politics is no longer democratic, even in its intentions, the people electing its representatives, but technocratic: the chief chooses experts(3) for his teams, the National Assembly or for his organization and even departmental referents.
Some speak of Jupiter’s presidency, others of president-CEO(,4).
The language that does not lie, the language of the acts. The first measures make it possible to quickly understand who is the premier de cordée and the le premier de corvée: adoption by ordinance of the labor laws, removal of the ISF, flat tax of 30% (PFU), removal of personalized assistance to housing (APL), decrease in subsidized jobs, immediate increase in CSG, later compensated.
Interested people fully understand this language.
At the same time, Emmanuel Macron and his entourage do not hesitate to affirm that the president speaks true (cashin the technico-financial language), speaks people. But some words make cringe, including for the entourage that is then in the explanation of text or context … These words do not constitute gaps, slippages but are aimed at targeted populations: are not there many French people who think that? (5) It does not matter the form. But what he said was heard by the recipients. As in those trials in the United States where a lawyer makes an unacceptable statement, objection your honor, rejected by the judge but the jury members understood the innuendo well.
So, he can talk cashto some people who, instead of fucking the brothel, would be better off going to look if they can not have jobs there, because there are some who have the qualifications to do it. and it’s not far from home; he claims that he does not want to give in to idlers, cynics and extremes (6), nor to pressure, whatever they may be, especially when they do not have the democratic legitimacy (7), the Medef? trade unions ?
Emmanuel Macron does not fail to pay homage to the Premier de cordée, to the young, future first of cordée, who désire devenir milliardaire,because the economy of Net is an economy of superstars, (8), to the entrepreneur whose life is often harder than that of an employee. You must never forget it. He can lose everything, and he has fewer guarantees explained the Minister (9).
Now, the president is asking the Guyanese not to confuse him with Santa Claus,he’s already gone for some with the tax cuts! However, he clearly states: I do not like the cynicism, sometimes, of those who succeed, and who fall back into selfishness where the only purpose of life would be to accumulate money. They must also engage in society, creating employment, activity. But the tax cuts are not conditioned by any constraint, no obligation to invest in the real economy. And he does not like the jealousy of saying, those who succeed, we will tax them, massacre them, because we do not like them (10). Emmanuel Macron is generous and protective for minorities!
But whether you like it or not, the words of Emmanuel Macron and his friends ooze scorn.
Here, it is probably the unconscious that speaks: I do not want the least of the French to think that …The least of the French. No, I do not want one Frenchman to think that ... But no. The least of the French. There are French capitals, and lesser French, at the very end of the rope, as Daniel Schneidermann explains (11.
Same bad taste: A station is a place where we meet successful people and people who are nothing (12), not French people who have nothing, who do not have a luxury watch to 50 years old (13), the sans-dent as his predecessor would have said. They have nothing so they are nothing!
Christophe Castaner, spokesman for the government, does not say anything else: I believe that one can be cultivated and speak like the French (14) which they, of course, hav’nt not culture.
It is certain that Emmanuel Macron loves and esteem all of his fellow citizens. Not all the same way. Not some unemployed. We have to make sure that he is looking for, and that he is not a repeat offender. Multi-recidivist, term used, usually, for offenders. No to those who defraud the tax, place their money in tax havens … He must not like very much, these Ploucs bretons, a geo-cultural idea for Jean-Yves Le Drian, who even sees it as a compliment! Neither the one who with kwassa-kwassa, in Mayotte, fishes little but brings Comorian. Neither the employees of this slaughterhouse of Gad, which, clumsiness of a junior minister, he spoke: this slaughterhouse, there is a majority of women in this society. There are some who are, for many, illiterate (14)
The minister, the candidate, President Macron speaks different languages that say the same thing but to different audiences. Some are on the safe side, there is little to tell them. The measures are sufficient. For the others. He has to convince them. Make them understand that he does not need their opinion. That the experts are at work. Modern. Effective. That they must not be in solidarity with the slackers of those who sow the brothel, of those who refuse reforms, a little music that could be called, Poujadismor populism of centrists.