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Agriculture, work, health, school... What to remember from Gabriel Attal's general policy speech

Three weeks to the day after his appointment to Matignon, Gabriel Attal presented this Tuesday “his roadmap and the government’s priorities” at the podium of the National Assembly.

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Agriculture, work, health, school... What to remember from Gabriel Attal's general policy speech

Three weeks to the day after his appointment to Matignon, Gabriel Attal presented this Tuesday “his roadmap and the government’s priorities” at the podium of the National Assembly. A perilous exercise while the farmers' discontent continues unabated, and thousands of tractors are still blocking the capital's roads. In front of the deputies, the head of government, for almost an hour and a half, insisted on imposing his mark which contrasted with that of Élisabeth Borne. Highly applauded by the majority, Matignon's host was regularly cut off by the hubbub of the opposition.

At the end of his speech, Gabriel Attal did not, as he had warned, submit to a vote of confidence. Who risked being rejected. If a motion of censure was tabled by the left, a few minutes before the start of the intervention, the right still maintains the mystery about its intentions.

While his first days in Matignon were marked by the unexpected anger of the farmers, the Prime Minister displayed his determination from the introduction of his speech: “We are ready to confront in order to move forward.” “We are not just any country: France will never be a nation that suffers. Neither yesterday, nor today, nor tomorrow,” he insisted again. All this, by placing yourself, after recalling your year of birth in a long historical continuity. A way of brushing aside criticism of his youth and inexperience.

From the podium of the National Assembly, Gabriel Attal identified what should be the “identity” of his government: “Reconquer our French and European sovereignty”. “Yes, we want to take our destiny back into our own hands,” he assured, calling for “opening a new page in this conquest.” The head of government also welcomed the “return of industry” in France. “There are more factories opening than factories closing in France. (...) It hasn’t happened for 30 years,” he praised. “For the fifth year in a row, our country is the most attractive in Europe for foreign investment.”

Much awaited on the agricultural issue, the head of government praised French agriculture which is “a strength” and which “constitutes one of the foundations of our identity, of our traditions”. As if to calm the discontent that has lasted for ten days, Gabriel Attal promises “a French agricultural exception”. “Lucid about the stacking of standards”, the Prime Minister recognizes: “Agriculture is waiting for answers.” Before promising to be “there without any ambiguity.”

After announcing the first measures last Friday in Haute-Garonne, the Prime Minister, at the end of his speech, indicated that “all CAP aid will be paid into the bank accounts of operators” from March 15. A tax system allowing farmers to counter inflation will also be “strengthened”. As for the fines and controls that industry and mass distribution are subject to, under the Egalim law, they will be “reused to support farmers.” Gabriel Attal may have been active since the start of this social movement, but he knows that the government “will not resolve the agricultural crisis in a few days.”

Despite the change of prime minister at the beginning of January, the parliamentary equation has not changed: the macronie still does not have an absolute majority in the Assembly. While the Palais Bourbon was the scene of unexpected and violent developments, as shown by the pension reform or more recently the immigration law, Gabriel Attal addressed the national representation with full knowledge of the facts: “We we oppose, in this hemicycle and elsewhere. And to reach out to opposition groups: “My door will always be open.” “Through you, the voices of millions of French people are expressed.”

Gabriel Attal also called for “responding to the concerns” of the middle classes, those “French people who (...) simply ask to be able to live from their work”. The Prime Minister returned to the Head of State's promise of a 2 billion tax cut: it "will be financed and national solidarity must be exercised for our middle classes", he assured. Before recalling the gestures already addressed to modest French people: “The abolition of the housing tax”, “the TV license”, the reduction “of the charges which weigh on the middle classes”...

The Prime Minister does not intend to slow down the pace of reforms. First, on the RSA. After launching an experiment which conditions this social benefit on 15 hours of activity to strengthen integration, Gabriel Attal announced the generalization of this system "to all departments" in January 2025. Still on this issue, the unemployed at the end rights will no longer have a specific allocation and will be transferred directly to the RSA.

Another expected reform: a bill will be tabled in the second half of 2024 to “integrate the merit and efforts” of civil servants into “their remuneration”. The head of government finally intends to tackle “all inactivity traps”. And promises to “carry out solidarity at the source”. Final request to all ministries: that of “experimenting with the 4-day week (...) without reduction in working hours”, in central and decentralized administrations.

“At all levels, France must be debureaucratized,” insisted the head of government. Faced with the “norms” which constrain the “French in their initiatives”, Gabriel Attal wants to “simplify the procedures”. “Removing standards is possible. Simplifying to avoid waste is possible,” he assured, while the superposition of standards is at the heart of the mobilization of farmers. “All bodies, committees and others, which have not met over the last 12 months, will be abolished,” announced the Prime Minister.

“I want to reduce the burden of rules and standards” for SMEs and VSEs, continued Gabriel Attal, specifying that each year, 60 billion euros are lost in unnecessary standards. He announces “after the summer” a “new stage of labor law reform”, to simplify the daily lives of VSEs and SMEs, advocating the possibility of “negotiating certain rules company by company.”

Faced with the housing crisis, the Prime Minister announced “a supply shock with 5 immediate solutions”. Simplification of standards, creation of 30,000 housing units within 3 years in 20 “committed territories”. The short-lived Minister of Education said he was ready to carry out “requisitions of empty buildings (…) We have already done it and we will continue,” he indicated. Continuing his ode to the middle classes, the tenant of Matignon added, to the SRU law relating to the 25% compulsory social housing per municipality, a share of intermediate housing, accessible to the middle class.

Something promised by Élisabeth Borne, something owed by Gabriel Attal. One month after the commitment to reform State Medical Aid (AME), made by the former Prime Minister to LR deputies, in exchange for their vote in favor of the immigration law, the new head of government announced the arrival of such an aggiornamento “before summer by regulatory means”. If the Constitutional Council censored, last week, the strongest measures of the bill mentioned above, Gabriel Attal promises: “The fight against illegal immigration must continue to intensify.” Wanting to “strengthen our national sovereignty”, the Prime Minister aims to “welcome less in order to welcome better.”

Faced with medical deserts and the shortage of medical personnel, the head of government announced that he would appoint an “emissary, responsible for going abroad to find foreign doctors on our territory”. “We will proceed with the regularization of foreign doctors in our territory,” he confirmed. To recognize the “expertise” of medical staff, Gabriel Attal also wants to allow nurses “with experience” and “know-how” to go “directly into the 3rd year of medicine”. Before recalling the first effects - even if insufficient - of the “removal of the numerus clausus”, initiated by the Head of State. “When you don’t come to the doctor without warning, you pay,” he said. The Prime Minister wants to launch what doctors call “a rabbit tax” to avoid thousands of missed appointments each year. Using the key word “simplification”, Gabriel Attal intends to free doctors from “administrative formalities”.

After his brief visit to Rue de Grenelle, Gabriel Attal vowed to “take” the cause of the school to Matignon. File which is, according to the Prime Minister, the “mother of battles”. After recalling his results, including the implementation of the “shock of knowledge”, the Prime Minister affirmed that “the decision to repeat a year will now be in the hands of the teaching team.” Another announcement on the care of AESH at midday, a subject of battle between the State and the communities. The first “will now finance support for children with disabilities during their lunch break.” Gabriel Attal has finally planned for the start of the 2026 school year with two major projects. If the experiment with the uniform is conclusive, it will be generalized in a year and a half; just like the Universal National Service (SNU).

Returning to the episode of urban violence last July, and faced with the youth of certain rioters, the Prime Minister said he was in favor of a bill on juvenile justice including the creation of “community work educative". “From a young age, you have to come back to a simple principle: ‘you break, you repair, you dirty, you clean, you challenge authority, you learn to respect it’,” he said. Recalling that France has “50,000 boarding school places available”, Gabriel Attal announced the facilitated placement, “including financial”, of young delinquents in boarding school. “We’re going to give him a setting, an education and a chance!”

It is a message of firmness that Gabriel Attal wanted to send from the podium of the National Assembly. “Impunity is over!”, he thundered. Reason why the government intends to send reinforcements, with more “magistrates” and more “clerks” in the courts. Wishing to “hit the dealers in the wallet”, Gabriel Attal confirms a measure already promised by Bruno Le Maire, the freezing of the assets of identified drug traffickers.

“From now on, the French will no longer be summoned to slots that can run for an entire half-day, but to a well-defined time slot. It is also through this type of measures and proof of respect that we renew the link between justice and litigants,” he also announced.

Much awaited in the field of global warming, Gabriel Attal promised “not to engage in ecology against the people”, after having multiplied messages to the middle and lower classes. “Degrowth is impoverishment and the end of our social model. We are not going to do ecology against the people,” he asserted, praising instead “an ecology where everyone acts within their means”.

Showing himself as close as possible to the “territories”, the Prime Minister also announced “from this quarter” the presentation of a new “climate change adaptation plan” presenting solutions adapted to each territory, particularly in the Overseas Territories. . Gabriel Attal also wants to give control to mayors and local elected officials.

The government will also launch an “ecological civic service” in 2027, allowing young people to get involved in the fight against global warming.

The government is determined to reform the end of life law. The bill on active assistance in dying will be examined “before the summer”, declared the Prime Minister, while promising more resources for palliative care. “We will strengthen palliative care with one unit per department,” he pledged.

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