The Weekly Dispatch - 2 October 2022
The 2023 Budget has been presented, the #AffaireQuatennens keeps getting worse, Valérie Pecresse is being investigated for embezzlement of public funds, and we have a pension reform process!
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The 2023 Budget Has Been Presented!
This week saw the announcement of the French budget proposal for 2023, and while it still needs to go through the parliamentary process to be approved, I put together a quick breakdown of the Budget in this week’s Brief.
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The #AffaireQuatennens Keeps Going
Things just keep getting worse for Adrien Quatennens, whose political story may have now gone beyond repair.
Following the initial complaint against him for domestic violence, and following his self-removal from the frontlines of La France Insoumise politics, it seems that he saw fit to begin sending his wife a large number of texts, which led to her going to the police station in Lille to report this and file a new complaint about the communications.
Quatennens’ lawyer clarified a misconception that did the rounds, and said that that the report made by the deputies wife “limits itself to evoking text messages sent by my client in the context of their separation and…it has been confirmed that they do not contain any message of a malicious or threatening nature".
Regarding the process itself, Quatennens was heard last week at a ‘free hearing’ in Lille. His lawyer claims that “As he had strongly wished, my client was able to speak in the context of the preliminary investigation in progress in order to restore a certain number of truths".
Valérie Pecresse Under Investigation
Once again, we’re talking about former Les Républicains leaders Valérie Pecresse, and once again, the news isn’t great.
Following a report by EELV Deputy Julien Bayou in April of this year, it seems that the Paris Prosecutor’s office has opened a preliminary investigation for “Embezzlement of public funds” that is related to her presidential campaign.
Claiming that “The Greens always use the same method of slanderous denunciation. Valérie Pécresse trusts justice", her entourage said, with others close to her stating that "This is not the first slanderous denunciation that we have faced".
For what it’s worth, it seems that Valérie Pecresse is planning to being a big complaint against Bayou for “slanderous denunciation”, which should make for an interesting situation
Movement on Pension Reform
This wednesday saw an important step towards working to make Pension reform a reality in France, with a mid-week dinner that reunited minister, group leaders in the Assemblée Nationale, Senate leaders, and party presidents from the presidential majority in order to hash out the modalities of this work.
And it seems that the “classic” method has been chosen to engage in pension reform: presenting a specific bill to be voted upon during the winter, either at the end of this year or the beginning of the next, which also allows a small gap for consultations.
While there were arguments for or against going fast, attaching the reform to another bill, and the timeline (François Bayrou wanted to trigger the process in spring next year and to incorporate it into the work of the National Council of Refoundation, which he now leads), an agreement was found and they plan to move forward shortly.
However, Macron made his stance clear on the matter, and was unequivocal with his invitees:
“There is only one person here who has become aware of his risk and brought the subject before the voters, that's me”
Having outlined his view of the reforms during the presidential elections, raising the retirement age to 65, taking into account hardship and setting a minimum amount of pension at 1,100 euros, we can assume that these will be the keystones of the reform.
Very interestingly, and having seen threats of a motion of censure against the government, it seems like Macron is willing to put up a big fight should things go badly.
With a potential motion of censure against the Borne government should they trigger Executive Privilege to force the law through by using article 49.3 of the constitution, Macron made it clear that he would trigger new elections.
Minister of Labour, Olivier Dussopt, made it clear when speaking on LCI during the week:
"If all the oppositions coalesced to adopt a motion of censure and bring down the government, [Emmanuel Macron] would defer to the French, and the French would decide, and say what is the new majority they want"
But, ultimately, nobody knows how exactly this will go down, how messaging will be used, and how exactly the fight will errupt and what form it will take.
What I do know, is that last week’s Brief covered the Pension system and what the reform will look like in depth, and those with paid subscriptions can read the full breakdown below:
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