The French Senate on Wednesday approved an increase in the mandatory retirement age from 62 to 64. It is the most important and controversial part of the pension reform that the French government has in mind.
After stiff opposition from left-wing parties, the article was approved by 201 votes to 115. Right-wing parties have a majority in the French Senate. According to the French government, the pension system must be reformed because it has become unaffordable, in part due to an aging population, which means that there are relatively more retirees.
The goal is to gradually increase the retirement age to 64 by 2030. In addition, from 2027, employees will also have to work for 43 years in order to receive a full pension. Several concessions were made during the discussion of the bill in the House of Representatives. For example, the French who started working in their teens will soon be able to retire before the age of 64.
The French have taken to the streets en masse several times in recent months to express their dissatisfaction with the plans. There were also major strikes in the field of education and public transportation, among others. On Tuesday, according to unions, 3.5 million people demonstrated across the country against the government’s plans. At least 260 demonstrations were held across the country, and more than ten thousand policemen were on their feet. Trade unions spoke of a “historic” turnout. Another working day is scheduled for Saturday.
Although opinion polls show that most French people support these measures, the government remains firm. On Thursday, the Senate will continue debating other proposed pension reforms. The French government hopes to wrap up talks on complete pension reform in the Senate on Sunday, before a vote in both houses of Parliament on March 16.
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