President Emmanuel Macron will announce at a press conference Thursday 25th April, 2019 his answers to the great debate, hoping for an exit to the crisis of “yellow vests”.
Moment of truth for Emmanuel Macron : the head of state delivers Thursday 25th April, 2019 in front of the press his answers to the great debate, to try to extinguish the crisis of “yellow vests” and restart its five-year one-month European elections.
At 6pm, the head of state will take place in front of several hundred journalists in the hall of the Elysée.
Expected months ago, the event is intended to unveil the lessons that the head of state drew from the great debate he launched on January 15th to try to get out of the crisis of “yellow vests”.
Emmanuel Macron was to address the French on April 15 but the fire of Notre-Dame forced him to postpone his speech .
Pensions, taxes, schools …
In the meantime, some of the measures he was to announce have leaked in the media , depriving him of the surprise effect and forcing him to review his communication plan.
He will begin the press conference, broadcast by the main television and radio channels, with a statement of about twenty minutes that “give perspectives and a course,” according to the Elysee. Then he will go into the details of the measures by answering questions from French and foreign journalists.
It should thus specify the conditions for tax cuts for the middle classes, the reindexing of pensions below € 2,000 or the promise not to close schools or hospitals until the end of the five-year period.
Clarifications are also awaited on the evocation of a possible extension of working hours to finance dependency and old age.
High Commissioner for pension reform Jean-Paul Delevoye, however, said Wednesday that the legal age of retirement, set at 62, “will not change . ” While specifying that “the interest of the equilibrium of the system” is a departure “to 63-64 years”.
The President’s clarifications are also expected on the plan to abolish the National School of Administration (ENA) with the aim of diversifying recruitment in the senior civil service.
“Should we remove the ENA perhaps, should we reform it surely, (…) but is it a priority, surely not,” attacked Wednesday night the head of the Republicans ( LR) Laurent Wauquiez, evoking his fear “that on the release of the great debate, there is a job of installing a nice curtain of smoke”.
Emmanuel Macron is also called upon to explain his intentions on decentralization, the possibility of organizing local referendums or the ecological transition.
He will make his announcements in the presence of members of the government, called to “put themselves in order of battle very quickly” to defend and launch them, said Wednesday the government spokesman Sibeth Ndiaye. For this, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe will meet on Monday in a “seminar” with ministers and officials of the majority, with the “ambition to change the method of government action,” she said.
During the great debate, Emmanuel Macron has repeatedly stated his ambition to start a new phase of his term in office, including exercising a less vertical power and including more Parliament, local elected officials and intermediate bodies.
“The solution to the crisis of identity and the social crisis that we are going through can not be reduced to a declination of categorical measures on purchasing power, taxation and the crisis of representation. If that were the case, we would not succeed, “warned Senate Speaker Gérard Larcher (LR) Tuesday in Caen. “We must tackle the roots of evil,” he added, citing “the feeling for some of our fellow citizens to no longer count.”
The French are waiting for these announcements with skepticism. While approving the main measures that the president should confirm, more than three quarters of them (76%) believe that the great debate will not improve the political, economic and social situation of the country, according to an Ipsos poll. Sopra Steria for Le Monde, Cevipof and the Jean-Jaurès Foundation.
The political reactions to Emmanuel Macron’s announcements should give a boost to the European campaign of May 26th, which is struggling so far to take off.