The French President has announced that half of the EU’s recovery budget provided to will be spent for the ecological transition of the country. The news has infuriated Frexiteers now asking for a referendum on the use of the precious funds and eventually, on France’s membership to the .
Generation Frexit campaigners tweeted: “Taxpayers pay, to put it mildly: by 2027 France will give €207 billion (£177bn) to the EU to bring to life this imposed and undemocratic ‘ideological framework’.
“The people of France must be consulted, yes.
“They even have to decide!”
The National Association for the Defence of Taxpayers echoed: “It is therefore not a story of economic recovery, but a pretext to establish a new ideological framework…
“Taxpayers pay without being consulted.”
Mr Macron was also lambasted by French unions on Tuesday over his attempt to propose a quick-fix reform of the country’s byzantine pension system.
Speaking ahead of a meeting between Mr Macron and unions, Laurent Berger, the head of France’s largest union, said his moderate, reform-minded CFDT would call for protests after the summer holidays if the President did not listen.
Mr Berger told France Info radio: “Let’s focus on the recovery.
“On the economic front, sure the data looks good, but there are people falling by the wayside: youngsters, the long-term unemployed, people in poverty.”
Pension reform was a central pillar of Mr Macron’s drive to create a more flexible and competitive labour market, while also reducing its financial burden on the state coffers.
However, his initial proposal infuriated the unions and provoked weeks of protests and transport strikes.
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But officials have said President Macron and his government were exploring new ways to balance France’s pension budget should he decide to forge ahead before the end of his mandate in 2022.
One option under consideration is to raise the legal retirement age by two years to 64 – something the government had stopped short of in its now-shelved reform proposal.
Asked what his union’s reaction would be to such a move, Mr Berger replied: “We would be in total disagreement and if it were to happen we would mobilise after the summer.”
Mr Berger said his union supported a reform that created a fairer pension system, but not one that simply eased pressure on the budget.
France has one of the most generous pension systems among industrialised nations, costing the state about 14 percent of economic output.