The French left seeks a lifeguard in protest at the pension

The French left, weakened since the victory of Emmanuel Macron in the presidential elections of 2017, you return to the scene. The protests against the pension

The French left seeks a lifeguard in protest at the pension

The French left, weakened since the victory of Emmanuel Macron in the presidential elections of 2017, you return to the scene. The protests against the pension reform, project central Macron, bind to the heterogeneous soup of letters that goes from the institutional Socialist Party to the populism of The France Insumisa. In part out of conviction, ideological and in part by opportunism, their leaders have jumped on the bandwagon of demonstrations and strikes. The social conflict of this December in contrast with the rebellion without ideology, without visible faces, and without a program of the yellow vests of a year ago.

The situation of the French left close to despair. In the european elections last may, the Socialist Party (PS), which three years ago still occupied the presidency of France, the head of the Government and dominated the National Assembly, won 6.2% of votes. The France Insumisa (LFI) of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, who after the victory in the presidential Macron believed to be its main alternative, reached 6.3% To the list of Benoît Hamon, candidate of the PS in the presidential elections of 2017, still fared the worst: 3.3%. The consolation was the remarkable result of Europe Ecology The Greens, who were third with 13.5%.

the revolt of The yellow vests, a few months before, had certified the disorientation of this field to ideological, decisive in modern France. The movement was born without the left would have seen it coming. Left baffled everyone, including the unions, who were watching with astonishment a new form of social mobilization that broke their discipline and their methods. The efforts of Mélenchon to join were unsuccessful. The yellow vests lacked ideology, or this was diffuse and cross-cutting, with ingredients from the extreme left and the extreme right: a genuine populist expression of weariness against the elites.

Neither at the polls nor in the street to the left could be heard. Until the 5 of December of last year, the first day of national strikes and demonstrations —go three, while the strike in the transport is about to meet the three— weeks against the pension reform.

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That day you were on the street Mélenchon and the radical left, there is nothing anomalous. The novelty was the presence of the PS, the party of former president François Hollande, mentor of Macron, and the that launched some of the reforms that the current president has developed.

Olivier Faure, head of the PS, ask to withdraw the reform, a position that puts him beyond the trade union traditionally close to his party, the reformist CFDT. “It's time to start from scratch, open a real negotiation in which you compare the solutions that allow new rights without any regressions”, has declared Faure the journal Libération.

The front antirreforma has added even Ségolène Royal, the candidate of the PS for the presidency in 2007, former minister of Environment and current ambassador for Macron to the North and South poles, a charge almost representative, nominally, continues to occupy.

The pundits Jérôme Fourquet and Sylvain Manternach, authors of L archipel français (The archipelago French), speaking in the daily Le Figaro in the wake of France's left-wing”. Studying the map of the manifestations of the 5 of December, which gathered more than 800,000 people in all of France, detected a larger mobilization in the southwest of the country that in the fiefs of Marie Le Pen in the north and the mediterranean coast. And especially in cities where, in 2017, Mélenchon and Hamon were good results or with a presence nourished by civil servants and public services.

The pension offer to the divided French left a common cause and powerful: the defence of the welfare State before a president supposedly neo-liberal. That is enough to link up with, or arising out of a leader able to embody this field, wiped out by Macron in 2017, is another thing.

Faure —and the same Hollande-- dream of a new political platform that brings together social-democrats, environmentalists, and voters to center-left disenchanted Macron. But the possibility of joining LFI of Mélenchon seems remote. Their positions euroescépticas and nationalists, his histrionics anti-establishment, and their nods to the electorate of Le Pen, the leader of the extreme right, complicate the union.

the ‘yellow vests’ in the trade unions

even Though there is yellow vests in the union demonstrations, it is not clear that is going to be produced the so-called “convergence or clotting”: a sum of all the discontented. The type of protester is not exactly the same: precarious workers then; employees of the public sector now. Or the day of the protest: on Saturday, a year ago; business days now. Or the way: the chaotic and violent in the case of the yellow vests; peaceful now. Neither geography: according to the survey of Ifop, who feel affected by the strikes in 9% of French in rural municipalities, 27% in provinces and 60% in the area of Paris.

The yellow vests were inhabitants of small towns which, due to the lack of public transport, they needed the car. It is now France's public transport which makes it strike. And this forces you to use the car (or the bike or the scooter, or go on foot). “It's an investment in the yellow vests. A year ago the problem was the cars, now are the solution,” says political scientist Jérôme Jaffré. “I don't think that there is a clotting of the struggles".

Updated Date: 25 December 2019, 21:01

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