(Paris) On the eve of a decisive day with the debate on the motions of censure, ministers are stepping up to defend the unpopular pension reform and the use of 49.3, without allaying the anger of opponents, who have been demonstrating for several days.

“I don’t think there will be a majority to bring down the government,” Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire told Le Parisien on Sunday. “But it will be a moment of truth. Is pension reform worth yes or no, the fall of the government and political disorder? The answer is clearly ‘no’”, according to the minister, a heavyweight in the government. “Let everyone take responsibility!” “.

For the Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, who has been carrying out this reform for months, “of course, a motion of censure can always be adopted” in the National Assembly. “But for that it would have to bring together a coalition of the ‘against’, the ‘anti’, to obtain a very heterogeneous majority without a common political line,” he told the Sunday newspaper.

The President of the Republicans, Eric Ciotti, reported on Twitter that his parliamentary office in Nice had been stoned overnight from Saturday to Sunday, for, according to him, “to put pressure” so that he votes Monday the motion of censure.

Other offices of pro-reform elected officials have been targeted in recent days.

In favor of reform, Eric Ciotti has already warned that his party will not vote “any” of the motions, so as not to “add chaos to chaos”. But a handful of deputies from his camp announced that they would at least vote for the cross-partisan motion presented by the independent group Liot (Liberties, Independents Overseas and Territories).

The two motions tabled, by Liot and by elected officials from the National Rally (RN), will be debated and put to the vote of the National Assembly from 4 p.m.

For the leader of the CGT, Philippe Martinez, the unions do not have to support a motion of censure. “But this is an opportunity for parliamentarians to vote for or against the reform, which they were unable to do last Thursday,” he said on BFMTV on Sunday.

Monday will also be the first day of the 2023 baccalaureate specialty exams, for nearly 540,000 high school students, against a backdrop of strike threats by supervisors.

The Ministry of Education will mobilize additional supervisors to “allow the tests to take place in the best conditions”. In the event of a delay due to a transport strike, the test time will be adjusted so that the candidate can work for the planned duration.

After several days of mobilization and demonstrations, at the call of the inter-union bringing together all the major organizations, the appeal Thursday to article 49.3 of the Constitution by Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne, set fire to the powder.

Since then, organized or spontaneous gatherings have taken place throughout the territory, calmly or with excesses. The inter-union called for a day of mobilization on Thursday March 23.

The demonstrators questioned by AFP during the rallies in France express anger, but march in calm for the most part, with slogans and signs.

Thus, Léa Botté, 29 years old and project manager in the agricultural association, said she was “angry” on Saturday, during the rally in Lille. Faced with a government “deaf to all mobilization, it is important to demonstrate this weekend without waiting for the vote on the motions of censure”. “The Assembly needs to have a sounding board in the street. We must be there to show that we are in deep disagreement with this structuring reform, which affects everyone “.

Asked about the excesses, Philippe Martinez believes that “it is the responsibility” of the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron “if the anger is at these levels”.

According to the monthly Ifop barometer published by the JDD, the popularity of the President of the Republic collapsed in March, to 28%, the lowest since the end of the crisis of “yellow vests” in 2019. A poll carried out before recourse to 49.3.

Liot’s motion, co-signed by elected officials from Nupes, is more likely than that of the RN to be voted on by right-wing deputies unfavorable to pension reform. But the absolute majority bar to bring down the government seems difficult to achieve.