For the president of France, Emmanuel Macron, there is a relationship between the protesters who oppose the increase in the retirement age in the country and extreme right movements in the United States and Brazil. The statement was made after Macron used a mechanism in the Constitution to reform Social Security without passing a vote in the Chamber of Deputies.
In an interview with French television channels France 2 and TF1, the French president condemned what he called “extreme violence” in the demonstrations that oppose raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 years.
“When the United States went through what happened on the Capitol, when Brazil (on January 8) went through this, when there was extreme violence in Germany or the Netherlands, or with us (in France) in the past. We must say that we respect, we heard it, we want to move the country forward – and that’s why I want to discuss this reform – but we cannot accept factions,” Macron declared.
Article 49.3 of the French Constitution, established in 1958 during Charles de Gaulle’s government, allows the Executive to approve a bill without it passing through the National Assembly. The mechanism was used by Macron to approve the measure that is rejected by the majority of the population.
resident of Saint-Denis and teacher at the Sorbonne Paris Nord University, Silvia Capanema says in an interview with Brazil in fact that Macron’s speech was “provocative” and rejected by French society. The historian points out that while trying to stigmatize popular mobilization, the French president used a tool to bypass Congress.
“It’s a right-wing tactic of associating the left with the extreme right and saying ‘I am the democratic camp'”, says Capenema.
The teacher also points out that a new round of protests and marches is scheduled for Thursday (23) and that mobilization is strong, with emphasis on the street sweepers’ strike in Paris, which left the streets of the capital full of garbage and guaranteed space on television for union representatives of the category that until then was seen as “invisible”.
The historian of the Sorbonne Paris Nord University still points out that Macron will face a union of different unions that is not common in the national political scenario of France. Even so, Capanema claims that the greatest strength of the movement are the street demonstrations, as the population resists doing serious work due to the rise in inflation.
“Although the strikes are not the strongest part of this movement, what was really strongest was the mobilization in the street. Because we have high inflation, a very high cost of living, so workers are very hesitant to go on strike. The financial difficulty is really great in France”, he says.
Editing: Patricia de Matos
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