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The French government proposes to raise the retirement age to 64

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Alan Binder
Alan Binder
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The increase in the retirement age came as a result of the pension reform proposal, which was detailed by French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne at a press conference on Tuesday.

“We will gradually raise the statutory retirement age by three months a year, to 64 years in 2030,” she said.

And against the unpopular reform, which is the flagship of the second term of French President Emmanuel Macron, the opposition has already identified itself in reactions, and the unions are planning a wave of strikes and protests, writes AFP.

The long-awaited pension reform is a hot topic in France. The proposal, according to Reuters, could lead to a new wave of strikes and also test Macron’s ability to push through the changes. Gradually moving the retirement age to 65 was one of the main themes of Macron’s re-election campaign and remains one of the main themes of the president’s second term.

Macron postponed the first attempt at reform in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, together with the Prime Minister, he will have to go through the review in Parliament, where they do not have a majority. However, at the end of last year, the government made several concessions to the Republican Party (LR), which could secure the necessary votes.

Left-wing parties and the far-right National Assembly oppose him. So a fierce debate is expected in Parliament, which will start considering the proposal in February.

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According to the Pensions Insurance Act, the government must proceed with an extraordinary increase in pensions if inflation is above 5 percent in the relevant period.

The leaders of France’s eight main trade unions, meeting in Paris on Tuesday night, announced the first strike over the proposed reform on January 19. Macron’s government already faced crippling strikes over changes to the pension system in early 2019 and 2020 during the first attempt to force them.

Borneo said, “I am well aware that the change in our retirement system raises questions and fears among the French,” and assured her citizens that her government would do everything possible to convince them of the necessity of such a review.

Reuters writes that France has one of the lowest retirement ages in the industrialized world, and spends more on pensions than most other countries, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). However, according to recent opinion polls, the majority of French people oppose raising the minimum age.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the left-wing Movement France Unobped (LFI), who came a narrow third in April’s presidential election, today dismissed the proposed changes as a “dangerous social regression”. The former president of the National League, Marine Le Pen, has confirmed that she will prevent this “unfair” reform.

Republican Representative Olivier Marlix said he was satisfied to hear his party’s voice in the December negotiations. Among other things, LR has requested amendments regarding the speed with which the new age limit will be introduced.

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