May 30, 2023

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Survey: 83% of French people say they are angry with the government’s economic and social policy

According to a CNEWS poll, eight in ten French people (83%) feel angry with the economic and social policy pursued by the government, after the executive power on pension reform took effect.

A controversial policy. Although the pension reform is now considered acceptable after invoking Article 49.3 of the constitution, a majority of French people (58%) consider themselves “very angry” against Emmanuel Macron’s economic and social policy. CNEWS poll. But, overall, 83% of the French declare themselves “somewhat or very angry” against the policy.

Broadly, 90% of 18-24-year-olds are dissatisfied, 88% of 35-49-year-olds, while 65-year-olds and older are the most critical of the economic and social policy pursued by the government. “Only” 74% are angry.

Across the political spectrum, we see supporters of Rebellious France in the lead, with 100% of respondents saying they are “somewhat or very angry”, followed by supporters of the Reconquest party with 96% dissatisfied. Conversely, on the side of the presidential majority (resurgence) sympathizers, we find that “only” 46% of respondents say they are “somewhat or very angry.”

According to a CNEWS poll dated March 8, in full mobilization against the pension reform, 82% of the French declared themselves angry against the government’s economic and social policy, representing a very significant improvement. However, only 51% said they were very angry today compared to 58%, an increase of 7 points.

Contested reforms

Ahead of the 2022 presidential election, Emmanuel Macron had promised to delay the legal retirement age to 64 or 65. The Head of State, led by Elizabeth Bourne, and her government, in an anti-reform manner, retreated from messages sent to public opinion. The administration also had to contend with the unions’ united front, the left’s strategy of parliamentary obstruction, and unexpected divisions in the Republican delegation.

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Thus, this reform, misunderstood and generally rejected by the French, crystallized the tension, and the use of Article 49.3 of the Constitution to pass the text without a vote in the Assembly, which came to nothing, drove the French to the wall. Prior controversy did not subside until the possible withdrawal of the reform.

Moreover, this pension reform comes just months after the unemployment insurance reform, which contributed to the reduction of entitlements and compensation periods by more than 25% for one in two unemployed persons, and received a generally mixed reception. General opinion. All this in the context of rising inflation that has hit the country for almost a year.

New reforms have to come

Finally, the French should prepare for new reforms, as the Minister of Labor has already announced that a new labor law will be presented to the National Assembly before this summer. Indeed, Emmanuel Macron would have been asked to quickly deliver a speech reducing the rigidity of the pension scheme, putting the question of “working better” at the center of the debates.

The President of the Republic thus hopes to reduce social discontent and proposes a limited number of “consensus” measures on a subject that is becoming more and more popular in public opinion.

Asked about this social anger related to the recent economic and social reforms carried out by his government, the President during an interview this Wednesday supported the pension reform as “necessary for the country” and said he was ready. “Recognize the unpopularity” it can create.

The head of state also condemned the violence of the protests and confirmed that the reform would be implemented “by the end of this year”, but that he would rely on the decision of the Constituent Assembly. To check categorically or not.

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According to the quota system, a representative national sample of 1,010 persons aged 18 years and above was surveyed through a self-administered questionnaire on March 21 and 22.