In the aftermath of a 10th day of actions less provided and also less chaotic than expected, the two parties give themselves a little air to reduce the tension with the prospect of this meeting, while the conflict in the street has entered its third month.

From there to consider a way out of the crisis? There is a long way to go and the inter-union has planned an 11th day of action on April 6.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of the Interior counted 740,000 demonstrators throughout the France, including 93,000 in Paris, the CGT "more than 2 million" including 450,000 in the capital.

In the meantime, the unions have an appointment with Elisabeth Borne. Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday? The date is not yet decided but "we will go", revealed the N.1 of the CFDT Laurent Berger on TMC Thursday evening, obviously not unhappy with this little stroke of theater.

"We'll go. We talked about it among ourselves. Yes, we collectively think that we must go there to carry our proposals, "said Laurent Berger. "Including" the proposal for mediation in the harsh conflict of pensions whose hypothesis had been swept away by Olivier Véran during the day.

Matignon confirmed the invitation but made no comment on its agenda.

"What is certain is that we will discuss pensions. And work because it goes with it, but (especially) pensions!", insisted Mr. Berger.

CFDT Secretary General Laurent Berger (C), on March 28, 2023 during a demonstration against the pension reform in Paris © JULIEN DE ROSA / AFP

Questioned in the aftermath, unions seemed to qualify Laurent Berger's assertions.

"We still need to discuss it in interunion," said the co-delegate of Solidaires, Murielle Guilbert.

"It requires a discussion between us beforehand," said François Hommeril, president of the CFE-CGC.

While the decision of the Constitutional Council on the pension reform is expected within three weeks, and against a backdrop of rising violence, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, had promised this weekend to "appease".

The CGT equation

At the Elysee, where Emmanuel Macron received Monday the executives of the majority and the government, the head of state said he wanted to "continue to reach out to the union forces", but on other subjects than pensions, according to a participant.

And the executive to stand firmly on its position: the reform that provides for the postponement of the legal retirement age from 62 to 64 years will apply. The heart of his project. It is also that of protest.

Through the voice of Olivier Véran its spokesman, the government has again ruled out at the end of the Council of Ministers Tuesday, the hypothesis of a pause in the application of the reform. As a member of the majority, the Modem did not say no to the idea of mediation.

According to Mr. Véran, nothing prevents "in the meantime" of the decision of the Constitutional Council, "to begin to discuss the modalities of application of the different elements of the text" which regularly sends more than a million people in the streets for two months.

If they do take place, will the reunion between government and unions only stage a dialogue of the deaf?

Another factor in the equation, the inter-union and the executive will have to deal with a new leadership of the CGT whose 53rd congress in Clermont-Ferrand takes place in a stormy atmosphere for the outgoing general secretary Philippe Martinez.

Outgoing CGT general secretary Philippe Martinez (left-front left) and former union general secretary Bernard Thibault (right-front party) on March 27, 2023 during the CGT congress in Clermont-Ferrand © JEFF PACHOUD / AFP

The confederation is on a volcano and orientations such as the election of the or, more likely, the new N.1, could lead to a "more offensive" CGT.

© 2023 AFP