Policy. Sobriety, purchasing power, pensions … What to remember from the interview with Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron gave his first television interview this Thursday since his re-election as President of the Republic on April 24. The Head of State, interviewed by Caroline Roux and Anne-Claire Coudray, thus revived the tradition of the July 14 interview respected by all his predecessors, and which he had observed only once since. 2017, in 2020.

For an hour, Emmanuel Macron maintained his course on the issue of pension reform and unemployment insurance, calling for « collective responsibility » of the oppositions. The President of the Republic also mentioned the war in Ukraine and the involvement of the French army, while announcing an energy sobriety plan this summer.

The war in Ukraine will “last” and France will have to do without Russian gas

14-July obliges, the President of the Republic first spoke about the state of the French army and the military situation in Ukraine. Emmanuel Macron assured that France had « a strong army » and « ready », and thus that it had the means « to protect, to help its allies », in particular Ukraine.

He also considered that the Russian-Ukrainian conflict would « last », which would lead France to have to « do without » Russian gas. “We must all be prepared for the war to last. The summer and the beginning of autumn will undoubtedly be very hard,” said the head of state.

Russia uses energy, as it uses food, as a weapon of war. France is not very dependent on Russian gas, it is less than 20% of our needs. We are diversifying for gas exploration and securing volumes elsewhere than in Russia.

The State will prepare this summer « an energy sobriety plan »

Faced with the risk of energy shortages posed by the war in Ukraine, the State will prepare this summer « an energy sobriety plan », announced the president.

We must collectively enter into a logic of sobriety (…) We will prepare a plan to put ourselves in a position to consume less.

The Head of State specified that he would ask “public administrations, large groups to prepare a plan”. “We are going to try to pay attention collectively, in the evening to lighting when they are useless, we are going to draw up a plan for public administrations, we are going to ask all our compatriots to get involved, and we are going to draw up a plan for sobriety and load shedding, – it’s gas and electricity we’re talking about here -, with our companies, « he said.

Emmanuel Macron added that it was necessary to go « much faster to produce offshore wind, solar (…) geothermal energy, heat pumps ». For this, an emergency law to reduce installation times should be presented this summer, said the Head of State.

We are going to speed up the energy transition, we are going to plan it for the coming years and invest a lot more money.

For purchasing power, « target those who need it most »

While the energy crisis has plunged many households into the red, with difficulties in heating or buying fuel, Emmanuel Macron declared that the State was going to « target those who need it most », either because these are low-income households, either because they need them to work.

“We are going to invest public money to encourage the middle classes to make this (energy) transition, to move towards vehicles that consume less, to carry out energy renovations”, continued the Head of State.

Make “responsible compromises” on pension reform?

Regarding his lack of an absolute majority in the National Assembly, Emmanuel Macron said he was not afraid of blocking situations, calling for « collective responsibility » of the oppositions.

Regarding the pension reform, Emmanuel Macron persisted and signed, calling for « responsible compromises » with a view to its entry into force in the summer of 2023.

A law on labor reform ready « as of this summer »

Emmanuel Macron did not escape a question on the reform of unemployment insurance. “As of this summer, there will have to be a text of law, after discussion with the social partners”, declared the head of state. The latter also mentioned the “reform of the RSA”, a “reform of France Travail”, but also in particular that of the vocational high school and “the work of seniors, which must be improved by training throughout life”.

« We can go to 5% » unemployment at the end of the five-year term, assured the Head of State, who recalled that under his first five-year term, unemployment had already been reduced to 7%. “The heart of the battle is full employment,” he insisted. Regarding more specifically the reform of unemployment insurance, he urged to « go further », judging that « there was no social model if there was no work to finance it ».

Macron maintains its course, the left not convinced

Reform of Unemployment Insurance, pensions, no announcement on potential taxes for the biggest French polluters… Emmanuel Macron’s intervention is far from having convinced on the left of the political spectrum, who lamented on Twitter the absence of compromise from the President of the Republic.

« Emmanuel Macron’s project for the next 5 years is therefore… to redo the work orders, the reform of apprenticeship, the reform of unemployment insurance and that of pensions. A scratched record or an admission of failure? “asked the boss of the socialist deputies Boris Vallaud.

“Journalists had to do it 3 times to impose the question of salaries and superprofits on an Emmanuel Macron who prefers interviews without questions. 5 billionaires own as much as 27 million French people. For him, that’s not a subject, ”tackled the coordinator and deputy of rebellious France Adrien Quatennens.

“Macron turns a deaf ear and maintains the pension reform. For him, the elections are useless, ”accused the president of the Insoumis at the Assembly Mathilde Panot.

“I tried in vain to seize every opportunity to compromise with Emmanuel Macron. Wages, unemployment insurance, pensions, Uberization of work, tax on superprofits: its course is clear. His outstretched hand does not concern us, ”launched Olivier Faure, boss of the PS.

A National Council for Refoundation « from the end of the summer »

Emmanuel Macron said on Thursday that he wanted to launch his National Council for Refoundation « from the end of the summer » and thus use « all the instruments so that our democracy is a living democracy ». Reviewing the agreements in the branches where the minimum wage is below the minimum wage « is one of the things I want to do and structure in this National Council », specified the Head of State during his interview on July 14, about of this new institution which must bring together political, economic, social and associative forces as well as elected representatives of the territories and citizens drawn by lot.


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