It is more than likely that the French Government will pass the two censure motions that will be voted on in the National Assembly tomorrow, Monday. The opposite would mean a great surprise and almost a political cataclysm. But this victory will not mean turning a page on the serious crisis opened with the approval by decree, on Thursday, of the pension reform.
President Emmanuel Macron's fiasco in managing the most symbolic initiative of his second term threatens to mortgage the more than four years he still has left at the Elysée, until May 2027. Without a parliamentary majority, with the unions at war and a palpable social unrest, the head of state runs the risk of leading a country in the doldrums, stuck, and that it will be very difficult, if not impossible, to promote any other ambitious project, such as the planned reforms of the immigration, justice or institutions, as well as achieving progress in other areas such as the ecological transition, education or the revitalization of the labor market.
The current parliamentary arithmetic - with two very strong blocs of the radical left and the extreme right, both of a populist nature - represents a rejection and blocking majority, but not a viable alternative government. Macron's hope to win for his cause The Republicans (LR), the traditional party of the right, heir to the successive denominations of Gaulism, has not happened. LR is a divided force and at odds with each other, with moderate sectors and others that openly flirt with the extreme right.
The French press speculates on various scenarios to relaunch Macron's presidency. The most obvious would be a reshaping of the Executive, and even the relief of the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne. However, it is highly doubtful that all of this will provide enough relief. Everyone knows that if there is anyone to blame for the failure, it is Macron himself. Another way, much riskier, would lead to the dissolution of the Assembly in an attempt to have new elections clarify the political landscape. Nothing would ensure its success. On the contrary, Macron could find the opposite result: a narrower majority and the strengthening of the extremes, especially the far-right National Regrouping, of Marine Le Pen.
The mobilizations and strikes, meanwhile, continue. The general secretary of the CGT union, Philippe Martínez, recalled that when they asked Macron to receive them - a request ignored by the president - a few days ago, they warned him of the "explosive situation" if the reform was approved, a diagnosis that is being confirmed. The unions still demand that the two-year delay in the retirement age, the most controversial point, be waived. In yesterday's editorial, the Libération newspaper claimed the same thing.
The president has chosen silence, while his interior minister and the police try to fight the ongoing spontaneous protests in many cities, and to protect their threatened officers and politicians. In Paris, it was forbidden for people to congregate in the Place de la Concorde and the Champs Elysees to avoid riots like those of the previous nights. There is no calm on the horizon.