These mavericks who annoy in the majority

There was one, then two, then three… In fact, at this time, five deputies of the majority have publicly indicated that, as it stands, they could not vote for the pension reform project. They are first of all deputies from the left wing: Patrick Vignal, from the PS, well known for his outspokenness; Barbara Pompili, minister a year ago, elected with the EELV label in 2012, who brings with her the three voices of her micro party In Common, associated with the majority. More surprisingly, Yannick Favennec, Horizon deputy for Mayenne, whose leader, Edouard Philippe, plans to retire at 67, also said his opposition at this stage.

It is not really on this reform that we imagined the majority to have some difficulties. At first glance, when they are asked about the subject, it’s “move on, there’s nothing to see”. “No, there is no bad atmosphere, assures Pieyre-Alexandre Anglade, Renaissance deputy (RE) for French people living abroad. Both are aware of the importance of pension reform. It needs to be adopted as widely as possible.” “With each proposal, please, do not see it as a questioning of the text”, corrects, all in euphemism, Gilles Le Gendre, RE deputy from Paris.

Solidarity in unpopularity

However, you don’t have to scratch for long to feel at least a slight annoyance. “Frankly, we all have questions about such a difficult text, recognizes Breton MoDem deputy Erwan Balanant. We all come across citizens who are worried. But now is not the time to tremble. “Patrick Vignal, “loudmouth” deputy for Hérault, as he describes himself, does not really seem to be shaking, however. “I stand out, but not aggressively. It is better for someone from the majority to sound the alarm,” he argues. And he persists: “I am angry, because I wonder why we are always out of step with society, we treat things in an accounting way! We do not see that society has changed! “He claims to have sent a note of several pages on the reform written with citizens of his constituency to Elisabeth Borne.

“There is still a question of consistency, it’s not the super-dividends or the bullfight there, we are on the most important reform of the five-year term! “, protests a pure sugar Macronist deputy. Patrick Vignal is straight in his boots: “I know very well that I was elected because I had the head of Emmanuel Macron on my posters. And if I were to ultimately vote against, I would leave the majority. “The Macronist deputy who wants to remain anonymous sees in the initiative of the few mavericks a sincere desire to move the text… But also a desire to exist in the media. Even, to protect themselves: “It is an unpopular reform, we must share this burden of unpopularity. We all make the effort, it’s easy for anyone to defend this reform, we are all questioned in our constituencies. »


“That they have disagreements is one thing, but finally it would have been better to talk about it internally before going to see the press”, remarks a Renaissance executive. Tuesday morning, precisely, it was time for the reunion at the group meeting. “I’m going to put on a bulletproof vest!” “, quipped Patrick Vignal. We swear that everything went well, and that the franc-tireur deputies were able to “express themselves freely and without causing annoyance”. Overall, we strive to minimize, “it’s residual”, even says Pieyre-Alexandre Anglade. Admittedly, the presence of Barbara Pompili, Minister of Ecological Transition until May, caused a little more squealing in high places. But no one really doubts that they will end up voting for the reform.

All this above all blurs government communication, without major hitches so far. As with the MoDem and its amendment to increase the weekly working time to 35.5 hours, in order to collect more pension contributions. Barely issued, the idea received a severe stop from the government. “I want to hear the suggestions of certain colleagues but we must remain focused”, calls Prisca Thévenot, deputy RE. “Anyway, the strategy of the MoDem is permanently sidelined. I don’t think it’s the right thing to do, but at least they are constant… ”, mocks the Macronist deputy who wants to remain discreet.

“We are a little above everything”, explains, philosopher, a government source. “Of course it always makes us flounder a little on the sets, because we are questioned about it. We’ll do without…” More problematic is perhaps the “exit from the road”, to use a word from the same source, of the minister delegate in charge of relations with Parliament, Franck Riester. Monday evening, he had to concede on Public Senate that the pension reform was very unfavorable to women, as the government’s impact study says. “The problem is that factually, he is not entirely wrong, continues the government source. So it’s not really annoying, but embarrassing. This is perhaps the real first hitch of the macronists on the pension reform.

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