It is surrounded by no less than seven Ministers or Secretaries of State that Nicolas Sarkozy will receive this morning at the Elysee, the social partners for the 2010 social agenda meeting. A sign of the importance of this meeting and the wide range of topics that should be discussed (see below).
Little concrete action however are expected, the meeting aimed first of all, made it clear the Elysee, "stop the timetable and working methods". Unions point out that measures for the employment and wages remain the "priorities" in a social and economic situation which, according to them, "continues to deteriorate". But it is highly folder of the pension reform that the positions of the Executive are especially expected. Starting with the highly strategic issue calendar selected. Unions fear reform conducted in way of support from the regional elections of March, followed by a law passed in Parliament as early as July.
In fact, the Executive knows that it is in any case very difficult to rely, as it had done in 2003, on the support of one or more unions: all are headwind against the postponement of the legal retirement age beyond 60 years, one of seriously proposed runways, and strongly supported by the employers. "Let's meet the legal age, it will result in an increase in the rate of employment of senior citizens," insists Laurence Parisot (Medef).
Convince public opinion
By opting for a tightened schedule, the Elysee would therefore seek to speed trade unions and to convince public opinion, found to be more open on the subject than before. This would also contain the only spring events, without overflow on re-entry. At the risk, however, pointing the unions and crystallize the tensions. "A tightened calendar will necessarily tougher actions and more difficult to control... troops." "This can be explosive," warns the pensions of a great Confederation head. Increased "our willingness to engage in would be tenfold", warns Bernard Thibault (CGT). The Inter-Union applies in any case to more quickly in order of battle. She planned to meet as early as this evening and was already off, last week, the threat of an interprofessional mobilization as soon as the end of March.
At the Elysee Palace, we sure however that the calendar is not stopped: "the President will discuss with the social partners." Some fear that the head of State is deliberately vague, to avoid giving arguments to the unions. "The eve of regional elections, he has little interest in providing too precise dates, analysis a Union official. "He knows that it would be the best way to put people in the street".
For the selected method, the Elysee seeks the right formula. A time studied by Nicolas Sarkozy, the establishment of a "Committee of wise men", on the model of those implemented for the large loan or the carbon tax, is not assured of success. The work of the Board of pensions (COR) are considered amply sufficient and the positions of each and other already widely known. The hypothesis is also very poorly allowed by trade unions. "No need for a new Théodule Committee", cowardly Jean-Claude Mailly (FO). "If the Government wants to hide behind a commission, it does deceive anyone", said Bernard Thibault.
One certainty: the official kickoff of the consultation with the social partners should be given mid-April, date at which the COR will make its new forecast of deficit in the pension system.