Street behavior in the French parliament


Palais Bourbon, seat of the National Assembly/photo: Wikipedia French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne called on parliamentarians to calmly discuss the pension reform. “The National Assembly should be a place of debate, not of insults,” Borne reminded her on Twitter, emphasizing: “those who insult do not belong to the French who elected them, nor to the democratic debate they expect.”
“It’s not too late to roll back the blocking amendments, allowing for real substantive dialogue … and frank but never offensive debate,” Borne said this week.

Session suspension

Aurélien Saintoul – MP for the opposition far-left party France Untamed (LFI) was punished by the National Assembly after calling Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt a “murderer” and a “fraud” during a debate on the pension reform (to which the LFI is making “obstructive amendments”) “. The insults caused quite a stir and caused a temporary suspension of the session a few days ago. “I’ve always believed that violence, whether physical or verbal, has no place in political life,” said Dussopt. Far-right leader Marine Le Pen also laments this “verbal escalation” in recent days. “In politics, we don’t have enemies, we have adversaries,” she said, distancing herself from the LFI narrative. Last Friday, another MP from Untamed France, Thomas Portes, was punished for publishing a photo showing a politician’s leg on a ball with the image of the Labor Minister. The minister’s face on the ball looked as if his head had been cut off. “Minister Olivier Dussopt, withdraw your pension reform,” Portes wrote under the photo. Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau described the photo as “an unacceptable, degrading staging and a clear incitement to hatred and violence.” “The assembly is not a circus, but [bycie parlamentarzystą – przyp. red.] it requires dignity and seriousness,” reacted Christian Demuynck, the conservative mayor of Neuilly-Plaisance. Portes was barred from the chamber for 15 days and deprived of half his parliamentary salary for two months. This is the most severe punishment provided for in the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly. “I will always be the guarantor of democratic debate,” warned the president of the National Assembly, Yaël Braun-Pivet, noting that “there are lines that cannot be crossed.” According to her, the French expect “an assembly that works, debates and votes”, not “parliamentary guerilla”. “We really want a democratic debate on this text so that we can discuss the arguments for and against the draft,” said Prime Minister Borne, also demanding “the withdrawal of amendments that have no other purpose than to hinder and delay the text” and stop the “invectives” in the National Assembly. The alliance of left-wing parties (Nupes), to which France Untamed belongs, already withdrew 1,000 amendments on Monday evening to “advance” dialogue, but President Braun-Pivet believes Nupes should withdraw another 9,000 to allow for a parliamentary debate. Currently, there are still 14,000 amendments to be considered, most of them submitted by the LFI. Working at this pace, MPs will rather take time to consider Article 7 of the pension reform (regarding the retirement age), which is actually the subject of the dispute. If the reform were to be adopted, the minimum retirement age in France would be gradually raised from the current 62 to 64 in 2030. MEPs have until Friday (February 17) midnight to examine the text at first reading. If the debate in the National Assembly has not ended by then, the bill will go to the Senate. According to Art. 47 of the Constitution of the French Republic: “If the National Assembly does not complete its first reading within forty days of the bill being introduced, the Government shall send the bill to the Senate, which must adopt its position within fifteen days…”.

New street protests

The atmosphere in the French parliament is beginning to resemble a street. Trade unions have organized new protests against the pension reform for today (February 16). Their goal is to put pressure on the government. The first two mobilizations gathered 1.2 million and 2 million citizens across the country, respectively. The third, which took place last week, was not so popular. Further protests are planned for March 7 and 8, after the return of the French from the winter holidays. source:

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