Yes the unions are in disarray faced with the position to adopt, the employers lean rather in favor of the economic program of Emmanuel Macron. This is what emerges from the meeting on Monday of the executive council of Medef, organized to analyze the programs of the two qualified candidates in the second round.
In a press release, the first employers’ organization in France judges that “Emmanuel Macron’s program is the most favorable to ensure the growth of the economy and employment”. That of the candidate of the National Rally on the contrary “would degrade the confidence of economic actors, thus reducing investments and job creation”, affirms the Medef.
A program too expensive for Le Pen, but shortcomings at Macron
Marine Le Pen’s program, in addition to causing concern because of protectionist measures such as the strengthening of border controls, is also considered unrealistic, in particular because of its cost. “Its axis towards a pro-SME policy is relevant, but in the meantime, if we want it to be credible, we have to explain to us how we are reforming public action, how we are responding to the problems of French purchasing power without putting ass over head the public finances”, declared to AFP the president of the Confederation of SMEs François Asselin.
According to him, the outgoing president has “to his credit commitments kept” during the past five-year term, but he will have to “credibility” of his proposals for a new reduction in production taxes and state reform. François Asselin also criticizes Emmanuel Macron’s proposals for the portability of the Time Savings Account (CET) and the development of participation and profit-sharing in companies, which are not, according to him, “likely to project themselves into profitability “.
The Medef finds for its part “gaps” in the economic program of the outgoing president, the main one being “that of the rebalancing of public finances”, which is also lacking “in all the other candidates and even more so in Marine Le Pen”, has explained to AFP the delegate president of the organization Patrick Martin.
The main point is not such a tax cut or such an increase in spending, but the efficiency of public spending
Patrick Martin, Deputy Chairman of Medef
Pensions: consultation, but no turning back
On the pension reform, Emmanuel Macron moved closer to the positions of employers’ organizations by defending an increase in the legal age of departure and by renouncing a universal points scheme in favor of three separate schemes for private sector employees, civil servants and the self-employed. The Medef wanted until last year to raise this age to 64, before setting it at 65 in its proposals published at the start of the year. The recovery would be done at the rate of three months a year, a little slower than the four months envisaged by Emmanuel Macron in his program.
Fearing a new blockage on this unpopular reform, the Medef asks in its press release that “the social partners and companies are really associated with the reforms”. The president assured Monday that he was ready to “move” on the parameters of the project, opening the door to an increase in the age limited to 64 years and to a referendum.
François Asselin quickly reacted on BFM Business by asking Emmanuel Macron to “stay straight from the boots”, considering that he had “started to take a step back” and that he was “almost sure” that the retirement ” wouldn’t be at 65.
“It is not a very good signal to amend the program on one of its major aspects even though the consultations that candidate Macron is calling for have not yet been initiated”, also criticized Patrick Martin.
No voting instructions
Neither the Medef nor the CPME, however, explicitly call for Emmanuel Macron to vote, not wanting to alienate members of various political sensitivities. The outgoing president collected 52% of voting intentions among entrepreneurs for the first round, according to an Opinionway poll carried out in March, against 32% in 2017.
Only the Union of Employers of the Social and Solidarity Economy (UDES) expresses itself more on the political field by calling on the French to “block the National Rally and the far right” to “show how strong democracy is and the nation is open to the world”.