Great National Debate, Time for the conclusions

Great National Debate: It’s Time for Conclusion, Before Decisions

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Edouard Philippe draws this Monday the assessment of the great national debate launched against the crisis of “yellow vests”, pending the first concrete decisions of Emmanuel Macron.

More than two months of consultation, hundreds of thousands of citizen proposals , sometimes contradictory or expensive: Edouard Philippe draws Monday, April 8, 2019 the balance of the great debate launched in the face of the crisis of ” yellow vests “, pending the first concrete decisions of ‘ Emmanuel Macron .

Nearly half of the government, the five “guarantors” of the great debate, citizens, representatives of associations and social partners, mayors, and a hundred directors of administration will be gathered in the morning under the glass roof of the Grand Palais in Paris for this synthesis dubbed “restitution”, on the second day after the “act 21” of the “yellow vests”.

When the movement recorded Saturday its weakest mobilisation , with 22,300 participants according to the Interior, the great debate has “given back” to the French society its “real face”, judged Sunday Sebastien Lecornu , one of the two ministers in charge of the animate.



More than 1.5 million people participated directly from official counts: one-third through the dedicated site, one-third in the 10,000 or so local meetings, one-third in the 16,000 notebooks or by free mail.

To the four themes set by Emmanuel Macron in his letter to the French mid-January – ecology, taxes, public services, democracy – were added others who spontaneously emerged in the consultation: health, many, but also pensions or the addiction. Other subjects, such as immigration, have remained behind.

When the opposition castigates a “big blabber” and a government-biased exercise, the risk for the executive is to appear as one who retains only what suits him.

The summary will be “representative of the diversity of points of view expressed” in the great debate, assured Emmanuelle Wargon, the other minister in charge of the debate. “All analyzes” will be put online in parallel, as a guarantee of “transparency”.

The organizations commissioned for this “restitution” (OpinionWay pollster, Roland Berger, Res Publica and Public Missions) will give the results in the morning, before a speech by the Prime Minister at midday.

The contributions show a “massive” demand for lower taxes, with priority given to VAT and then income tax, according to a government source. The vagueness is much greater as to the expenses to be lowered, even if the contributors advance the tracks of the defense or the lodging.

ISF and RIC “diluted”?

The restoration of the ISF and the introduction of the referendum of citizens’ initiative (RIC) , claimed from the beginning of the movement by the “yellow vests”, they themselves “gradually diluted with other concerns,” said M Lecornu.

During debates without a vote on Tuesday in the Assembly and then in the Senate on Wednesday, Edouard Philippe will then say “what we retain, the themes we want to privilege, the directions we set.” The Prime Minister has already promised “powerful solutions” and discussed future work with “intermediary bodies” and “local elected officials”.

The verdict will then return in mid-April to Emmanuel Macron, after a tour of France in 80 days including a hundred hours of debate. The measures can be distilled until the summer.

President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a debate
President Emmanuel Macron speaks during a debate on February 28, 2019 in Pessac (Gironde). (© AFP / Archives / NICOLAS TUCAT)

The president promised to respond without “denial” or “stubbornness” to the wishes of the French, a “at the same time” that keeps the vagueness.

Government spokeswoman Sibeth Ndiaye promised that “nothing would be like before” after the great debate, including a better association of French decisions. But the boss of the PS Olivier Faure already said expect “a deepening of the initial course”.

“It is time to go out (of the great debate) with a real vision and vigorous acts,” pleaded for his side on Sunday the President of the Republicans Laurent Wauquiez, accusing Emmanuel Macron of “the histrion”. Still at LR, Valérie Pécresse believes that the executive “walk the dog to the European” late May.

While waiting for the arbitrations, several ministers advance their pawns. To finance the dependency, ex-LR Gérald Darmanin and Bruno Le Maire pushed this week the idea of ​​a possible postponement of the retirement age, with the consent of Matignon. Highlighting the desire for “more ecology” during the big debate, François de Rugy is trying to design a future for ecological taxation, triggering the crisis six months ago.

Great National Debate: It's Time for Conclusion, Before Decisions 1

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