Jean-Paul Delevoye, the High Commissioner for Pensions in Emmanuel Macron’s government stepped down from his post on December 15. The resignation by the High Commissioner comes ahead of his failure to publicly announce the positions that he was handling in parallel to his cabinet position.
One of the French newspapers reported about the resignation which comes amid a crucial situation when the government is facing protests from the people. President Emmanuel Macron’s government is currently facing protests from the union workers who are demanding the government to take back its pension reform proposal. In a statement released by the French presidency, they said that they have accepted the resignation from Delevoye, which he gave considering that it would not hamper the work of the executives.
In the statement, it was mentioned that the President appreciates his personal commitment towards his work and his contribution to the pension reform. It further read that his resignation will provide better clarification on the situation. There was immense pressure on him to step down from his position as he failed to disclose the information about the 13 positions he was simultaneously handling. Out of which, he also headed as a voluntary administrator for an insurance training institute which is a potential seeker of the pension reforms. Delevoye in his defense said that he committed a grave mistake by not disclosing the positions, however, the ministers backed his decision.
Macron wants to move away from the system of dozens of pension schemes to a universal points-based pension system, aimed at rewarding employees based on their daily work. Unions are unhappy with the pension reforms since they are being forced to retire later or avail reduced pensions. The official retirement age in France is currently 62 but according to the new plan, anyone retiring before 64 will get a lower pension.
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe had reaffirmed that the government was 'determined to take pension reform to its completion'. According to media reports, Philippe has promised to meet the aggrieved unions next week and urged to take responsibility until Christmas. Businesses dependent on tourism and festivals, especially retail and hotels, fear that it could be severely hit in the Christmas season.