French government refuses to back down on pension reform


The bill would gradually increase the age of retirement from 62 years to 64 years by 2030 and will also increase the minimum years of service people must give to become eligible for a full pension from 42 years to 43 years

On Monday, the French government took a step ahead with the widely-debated pensions reform plan, which would increase the retirement age to 64, stating that the top priority must be balancing the system’s books.

The bill would gradually increase the age of retirement from 62 years to 64 years by 2030 and will also increase the minimum years of service people must give to become eligible for a full pension from 42 years to 43 years.

Dussopt stated that the government “disagrees with trade unions”, who had led the massive protests and strikes on Thursday in which around 1.1 million people participated to raise their voices against pension reform.

The unions are now planning a fresh strike on January 31 as they have warned that they are ready to step up their actions if the government fails to relent.

The ministers claim that billions will slip into deficit in the years ahead because of the pension system and that they must find saving to prevent costly top-ups from general taxation.

Dussopt stated that amendments that “improve the text without giving up on getting back to balancing the books by 2030, nor the fundamentals of the reform” will be accepted by the government.


RELATED: Nationwide strike kicks off in France over pension reforms

A nationwide strike kicked off in France on Thursday with high school students in Paris expressing solidarity with workers. Police stood guard as more than a dozen students gathered in front of Helene Boucher high school in eastern Paris, holding banners supporting the anti-reform movement.

Workers opposing an unpopular pensions overhaul are striking, disrupting transportation and schooling across the country. President Emmanuel Macron’s government has proposed raising the retirement age for most people to 64 from 62 and increase the years of contributions required for a full pension.

Following the news, France’s trade unions immediately called for a mass mobilisation. The last time a similar call was made was 12 years ago when the retirement age was hiked to 62 from 60.

Most trains will be cancelled, with flights also affected and Paris’ subway heavily disrupted. Only one in three to one in five high-speed TGV lines will operate, and only one in ten local TER trains, the SNCF train operator said. Transport Minister Clement Beaune has warned of “a hellish Thursday”, urging people to work from home.

However, international traffic on the Eurostar and Thalys lines is set to be nearly normal, while the Lyria connection with Switzerland will face major disruptions and other international train connections will be entirely cancelled


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By: Miss Cherry May Timbol – Independent Reporter

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