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Budget: skeptical opposition to the outstretched hand of the government

LOppositions are not really enthusiastic about Bercy’s offer. The acting president of the National Rally, Jordan Bardella, said on Sunday that he would “not dialogue” with the Minister Delegate for Public Accounts, Gabriel Attal, in Bercy, as proposed by the latter, on the draft budget, that the RN will not vote anyway. “I will not go to Bercy to dialogue with Gabriel Attal” on the draft budget, said on BFMTV the boss of the far-right party. But “I will discuss it with him willingly on perhaps one of your sets in a debate,” he added. “The place of discussion is called the National Assembly. Since the National Assembly is in the image of French society (…), the government has been trying to find places for discussion, alternative agoras”, such as the National Council for Refoundation, estimated Jordan Bardella. He invites the executive to “not” be “afraid of the National Assembly”, where it only has a relative majority.

The candidate for the presidency of the RN, for whom “the first of the savings” to be made “is to stop immigration”, indicated that “no”, the group of RN deputies “would not vote for the budget”, without saying if he would vote against or abstain, because “we are beginning to (…) know” the “brutality and harshness” of Emmanuel Macron’s project. While the Prime Minister, Élisabeth Borne, does not rule out having recourse to article 49.3 of the Constitution, which allows the adoption of a text without a vote, Jordan Bardella estimated that “there will be consequences and that, “probably, we will table a motion of censure”.

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On the LR side, we are just as categorical on the offer: “Let this majority manage, we will not be its crutch”, affirmed the deputy of the Alpes-Maritimes, Éric Ciotti, pretender to the head of the party. He promised that the elected LRs would exercise their right of amendment “without discussions, without cooperation, without confusion”, because they are “in the opposition”. “There is no question, through political tricks, of getting into a little game of negotiations”, also argued the boss of LR senators, Bruno Retailleau, another declared candidate. The boss of the LR deputies, Olivier Marleix, however stressed that his group “will strive (it) to always be the compass which indicates the national interest”.

The skeptical left

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On the LFI and PS side, we are less radical but just as skeptical. The leader of the LFI deputies, Mathilde Panot, did not say “no immediately” to the minister’s proposal. “It’s up to them to give in on things (because) our proposals are known (and) we will bring them to the democratic arena”, she warned on France 3, citing the increase in salaries, the taxation of “superprofits” and again the freezing of prices, which will be included in a “counter-budget” proposal. “We will try to get things passed (in Parliament, but) I think we will vote against this budget,” she said. The Chairman of the Assembly’s Finance Committee, Éric Coquerel (LFI), also expressed his reservations to HuffPost: “I am in favor of discussing within (the left alliance) Nupes” Gabriel’s proposal Attal, “because it must not be used only for government communication”. “For the moment, I especially have the impression (…) that he is in a search for an early majority with the Republicans”, he added.

As for Olivier Faure, number one of the PS, he was not totally categorical: “I have never refused any outstretched hand when it is really outstretched”, he declared to France Inter-France Info-The world. “If a left-wing budget tomorrow is proposed, why would I vote against it? he questioned, while doubting the hypothesis.

The Minister Delegate for Public Accounts, Gabriel Attal, announced in The Parisian that he was going to initiate, with the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, “Bercy dialogues” on the draft budget before its adoption at the end of September in the Council of Ministers, which precedes the debates in Parliament. “We invite the entire national representation to work on the 2023 budget even before it is finalized. These Bercy dialogues will be offered to all parliamentarians from the Finance Committees of the Assembly and the Senate, majority and opposition,” explains Gabriel Attal. In these discussions, the Minister intends to present his “tracks” and “ongoing arbitrations”, and to discuss the “proposals in anticipation of the parliamentary debate”, in accordance with the government’s new method based on dialogue with a view to forging compromises.

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