In an interview Sunday in the JDD, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced that he wished to close the Ségur de la Santé "next week" and resume the pension file, as Emmanuel Macron announced on Thursday. 

Prime Minister Jean Castex says he wishes to conclude the Ségur de la Santé "next week" and settle "in the short term" the pension issue, in an interview published Sunday in the JDD where he warns not to believe "soft consensus".

"Essential decisions are on the table. Employment, of course, which in the current context requires the mobilization of all within the framework of the new social order launched by the President of the Republic. Support for caregivers and the transformation of our health system as part of the Ségur that I will conclude next week, "he said.

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Failing agreement with unions before an imminent reshuffle, the government of his predecessor Edouard Philippe decided Thursday to extend the Ségur of health by a few days, while an envelope of seven billion euros is now on the table for caregiver salaries.

"The recovery plan must be finalized. To this must be added the reforms that were in the pipes on pensions and unemployment insurance. And that of dependency which will have to come next and corresponds to a necessity. All these subjects are directly impacted by the crisis, which requires taking them up in a concerted framework and with overall coherence, "he added.

"Resume dialogue" 

Asked about union concerns about pensions, he said that "to say that we are going to reexamine a subject is not to deny ourselves. It is to show our capacity to adapt to the new circumstances, which are painful". "For example, the crisis has greatly worsened the deficit in our pension plans. I wish to resume dialogue with the social partners, this is essential. Will we be able to settle these issues in the short term? It is my wish", he said.

"At a minimum, we will have to set a new social agenda," he continued, saying he hoped for a "compromise, which is not a compromise" to save social protection systems. Asked about his method, he defined it as "a mixture of voluntarism and experience, with the concern of bringing together". "But beware, I do not believe in soft consensus. The time is for action," he warned.