The executive is walking on eggshells after a summer tormented by heat waves and soaring prices generated by the prolonged war in Ukraine.
During the back-to-school Council of Ministers on Wednesday, the Head of State set the scene by adopting a somber tone that contrasted with the optimism cultivated since his arrival at the Elysee Palace in 2017.
Faced with the “serious series of crises” – from the conflict in Ukraine to climate change – he spoke of “the end of abundance” and “the end of carelessness”, which will make “efforts” necessary, even “sacrifices”.
“It is not a question of promising blood and tears, but it is important that everyone is aware of the gravity of the moment”, abounded Elisabeth Borne, Saturday, in Le Parisien.
– “General mobilization” –
Anxious to display an executive at work, the Prime Minister presented the first measures on Saturday, including the release of a “green fund” endowed with 1.5 billion euros and intended for local authorities to “help them in the acceleration of their ecological transition”.
The head of government also promised that the executive would cushion “the increases” in energy prices after the end of the tariff shield in December, thanks to “specific provisions” for the “most fragile”.
“What will happen in France is not what is happening in England where the price of energy suddenly increases by 80%,” government spokesman Olivier Véran insisted on Sunday.
Monday, in front of the Medef, Ms. Borne must also call on companies and individuals to “general mobilization” in terms of energy sobriety, so that their consumption drops by 10%, before taking stock of it at the end of September-beginning of October.
“Sobriety chosen rather than rationing suffered”, summarizes Matignon.
If Elisabeth Borne will not come back to the bosses on the taxation of “super profits”, to which she does not close the door, she will again encourage entrepreneurs to lower prices or give purchasing power to their employees by using fully existing devices. It must also mention the reforms envisaged around unemployment insurance.
The message “is to tell companies: if you do not play your role in the service of the purchasing power of the French and employees, the State will take its responsibilities” on the super profits, argued Sunday Mr. Véran.
Pushed by the left, which plans to organize a referendum of shared initiative on the question, the taxation of “super profits” is debated within the majority.
On Saturday, Ms. Borne also considered it “essential” that the “most favored” set an example, such as the owners of private jets.
– “Fear” –
These files will also be on the menu of the back-to-school seminar which will bring together all the ministers at the Elysée on Wednesday.
On this subject as on others, while he does not have an absolute majority in the Assembly, Emmanuel Macron hopes to build a consensus by launching on September 8 the National Council for Refoundation, an already controversial body which must bring together elected , actors in the field and civil society.
But the opposition, which made its comeback this weekend, doubt its ability to meet these challenges while its environmental record is considered very insufficient.
“Everything he offers is too timid”, denounces the ecologist Julien Bayou.
From the Drôme, Sunday, the Insoumis leader Jean-Luc Mélenchon castigated the pessimism of Mr. Macron: “We do not share this lamentable method which consists in playing on fear, because fear paralyzes”.
For its part, the right is alarmed by the worsening state of public finances while the National Rally gives priority to the defense of purchasing power.
In this context, Elisabeth Borne has not ruled out having the budget adopted this fall by resorting to article 49.3 of the Constitution, which allows the adoption of a text without a vote but engages the responsibility of the government. Because “the French did not ask us to stand still”, she argued.