PARIS – The Movement "yellow vests" has forced President Emmanuel Macron and his government to work hard to find solutions, especially convincing, facing the anger of the French, using the maximum of partners, for a social peace.
By opting for this social path, not at all foreseen in his program, the French president, in fall of popularity since the crisis "yellow", does not wish, however, to give up his reforms, even if he gives impression of a necessary pause.
After announcing relief measures on December 10, he called on all partners likely to work with his government and support his decisions with concrete actions.
He brought together, in turn, the political parties, the social partners, the banks and, as recently as Tuesday, the representatives of the three families of complementary health organizations. These were
Mutuals, insurances, provident institutions to "build concrete solutions to the economic and social emergency", expressed during his address to the French.
However, this "economic and social emergency" implies a cost, more than 10 billion euros, and its implementation is already a headache in terms of funding.
To calm another anger, this time that of the police, the government has planned another bill by deciding a premium of 300 euros for overtime police officers engaged in the mobilizations of "yellow vests".
111,000 civil servants will benefit from this bonus for a total cost of about 33 million euros.
To support his approach, President Macron asked the help of a hundred representatives of French companies who gathered after the bankers last week. "I need you," he said, pointing out that the economic and social model of France is at the end of the line. Thus, companies will take their share to the tune of 2.5 billion euros, it was said.
On Tuesday, he asked the three families of complementary health organizations "additional" commitments so that the cost of health "weighs less on the purchasing power of households."
A purchasing power already announced by the National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies (INSEE) in "net increase" for the year 2019, with a 3% increase.
But the debate in France these days revolves around the financing of this "economic and social emergency" initiated by the government where we will have to find money.
A Council of Ministers is expected this Wednesday to examine all the financial possibilities for the realization of its measures which will, doubtless, ask to ratify decisions on the reduction of the budgets of the State, whose deficit will be increased to EUR 107.5 billion.
However, the movement of "yellow vests" won Tuesday a small victory when the French National Assembly has validated, without debate, the freezing of fuel taxes until 2022, after the Senate voted in the framework of the draft budget for 2019.
After its weak mobilization noted last Saturday, the movement of "yellow vests" was forced, since Monday, to evacuate the roundabouts where he had established his headquarters. A pause has been marked, it seems, by the movement which has responded favorably to the appeasement appeals for the end of the year holidays, but the bet remains big for the government in its quest to want to provide quick answers to the French having expressed their fiscal sluggishness which deteriorates their purchasing power.
Even if the yellow vests are going to be folded for the end of the year, the claims remain alive and intact, many observers estimate.