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The Matignon tenant, who led the end of the pension reform debate, has a reputation as an excellent negotiator. This is confirmed by the interlocutors who regret the small maneuvering room left from the Elysee.
When an inquisitive person asks her to sum up her last few weeks, one phrase comes to mind first: headaches… On this sunny Friday, three days after the announcement of pension reform, Elizabeth Borne nevertheless seems rested. He smokes less, eats more… His face looks calm, as if most of the work is behind him. His mission, in fact, when he was appointed to Matignon, was to negotiate with the social partners and representatives of the political parties in order to implement the most consensual reforms possible.
Later, his CV was promoted by Yelysey. Former Transport Minister Emmanuel Macron led the first major reform of his first five-year term: rail reform to prepare the SNCF for competition. Later, as Minister of Labor, he often received social partners. Since his appointment, members of the government have been repeating in chorus: Borne? He is an outstanding conversationalist! Is the Prime Minister really living up to his legend?
“He has more humor than I imagined, he is not unpleasant,” said Eric Coquerel of Insoumis. But humor is not everything. “He’s very nice, it’s nice to talk to him, but he doesn’t have a hand,” smiles a senior centrist elected official who often has to meet. Éric Woerth affirms: “To be a good negotiator, you need to know how far you can go without harming the system, you need to respect your interlocutors, you need flexibility, but above all, you need room for maneuver. Elizabeth Borne should have negotiated more with the Elysée than with the unions. He did well to suggest 64 years. It doesn’t fundamentally change anything, but it shows that he’s gesturing.
He denies that they need to negotiate with the president, preferring to say that they think together and work together to find the right solutions. And Elisabeth Borne likes to think while she speaks, challenging herself in discussions whether with the President or with elected officials and unions. Whenever an idea comes up that seems interesting to him, he always scribbles it on a piece of paper he has with him and then explores the possibility. This is how the idea of increasing the pensions of current retirees was born.
Frustrated with Laurent Berger
“I’m sure you’re never the only one with good ideas, and if you don’t listen, you can make mistakes. That’s why we have to listen, sometimes we have to find ways to reconcile the irreconcilables, “he assures La Dépêche. He says, for example, that it would be unfair to push back the retirement age, as demanded by the right, or to extend the contribution period, as demanded by the left, and by mixing the two insists that we have achieved a balanced reform. “I am sure that if we can listen to each other, our country can move forward,” he concludes.
All his interlocutors really praise the listening skills of the Matignon tenant. Bertrand Pancher, president of the Liberties and Territories Group (LIOT) in the National Assembly, smiles: “I was accepted in 4 months more than in my 15-year parliamentary career. “Elisabeth Borne is someone with a very open, real sense of dialogue. He spends a lot of time with his interlocutors,” he assures us. But Meuse’s deputy confirms that “he is very much a prisoner of the commitments that President Macron has failed to change. I told him that you should not get stuck in age, he replied: I understand you. But he had no chance. He must always refer to Elisha.”
However, according to the Prime Minister, the time spent on negotiations with each other will not be wasted. The government claims to have incorporated many suggestions from the CFDT into the bill in the few weeks it gave itself. He also says that Laurent Berger is a little disappointed when he hears about his time there.
But Elisabeth Borne is not fooled and knows the political game too well to be truly angry. After that, the time of pedagogy opens, which is no longer entirely on his shoulders. Ministers are responsible for explaining and re-explaining in abundance to the whole area so that the anger does not paralyze the country for too long.