Pension reform: “In the United Kingdom, it is unthinkable that legislation of this importance will pass without a referendum”

It’s not every day that a hemicycle of the National Assembly finds itself Cover of the New York Times. Emmanuel Macron invoked Article 49, Paragraph 3 of the Constitution. Ink spills in the international pressFrom Anglo-Saxon Newspapers El Mundo passes through Der Spiegel. The fascination of the international press for pension reform is not new, and the social movement has already shared its views on the matter with French folklore. But the use of 49-3 has taken a new step in the intensity of international opinion: an “earthquake”, a “boiling”, a political crisis described by foreign dailies on Friday morning. And in the United Kingdom, in particular, that country is in the grip of a social movement Not known since the Thatcher yearsFrench social media has not gone unnoticed in recent weeks.

“France once again gives the impression of being unreformable”

On the other side of the Channel, this refusal to change the statutory retirement age from 62 to 64 may have come as a surprise. The latest British pension reform, from 2014, changes the statutory pension age from 66 to 67 by 2026-2028. Comparing legal ages – alone – is sometimes dangerous, but it is true that the difference has been noticed by the media in the UK. “France once again gives the impression of being unreformable,” he explained BBC News This Thursday evening.

But since the 49-3 implementation by the executive, the perception of Emmanuel Macron’s weakness has been unanimous even in the conservative press, explains UK journalist in charge Sasha Mitchell. International mail : “The Economist, for example, who is very positive about the reform and even thought it did not go far enough, said this morning that we understand how complicated the five-year term of Emmanuel Macron is. This magazine might have thought that after the assembly elections, a relative majority would lead to more consensus, but with images of the National Assembly and Concord, it clearly illustrates that the opposite is happening. »

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49-3: “Leaders across Europe should envy Emmanuel Macron”

Sasha Mitchell finally identifies “some ambivalence” in the British press over the social movement built against pension reform. “The Times, for example, says that Macron has political courage. There is a sense that this reform should have been done a long time ago. At the same time, there is a certain admiration for the French, who see it as a demand against the political class on the state of public services, for example. When the French don’t want to hear it do, we tell ourselves that it maintains a certain status quo. »

Although the British conservative media are very supportive of reform, their tone changed yesterday, Sasha Mitchell says: “Journals do a lot of academic work on 49-3 and remind us that it’s not unheard of. But it makes the pro-reform press uncomfortable because, for them, it’s so important. It is impossible that there is no referendum on a matter.”

In a parliamentary system like the United Kingdom, the use of 49-3 raises questions even among supporters of reform. “In the United Kingdom, it would be unthinkable for a law of this importance to be passed without a referendum,” said Sasha Mitchell, who believes “leaders across Europe should envy the possibility of the French president avoiding a rule.” Assembly in this way. “Who says France can no longer shine internationally?

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