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Strikes, protests loom as Macron moves to raise French retirement age to 64

Elizabeth Pineau and Caroline Pailliez

PARIS (Reuters) – The French should work two extra years before retiring 56, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne detailed an unpopular pension reform that prompted unions to swiftly call for a first-day strike later this month.

The right to retire at a relatively young age is deeply cherished. In France, the reforms will be a major test of Macron’s ability to effect change in a second term, especially as society adjusts to life. Cost dissatisfaction is growing.

Reforms needed to keep more elderly people working and pension budgets in deficit, Macron said. The employment rate for 60-60 year-olds in France is one of the lowest among the major industrialized countries.

Borne described the long-delayed overhaul as facing reality. It must now be ratified by parliament, where the president has lost his ruling majority.

A poll by Odoxa shows that four out of five citizens oppose raising the retirement age.

“There is nothing to justify such brutal reforms,” ​​moderate leader Laurent Berger of the reform-minded CFDT union said after a meeting of union leaders told reporters. .

“I am well aware that changing our pension system will raise doubts and fear among French people,” Born said at a news conference not long ago. “We delivered today a program that balances our pension system, a fair program,” she said 2020. But he put his first attempt at 2020 on hold as the government struggles to contain the COVID outbreak.

The second try won’t be easier.

“It was one slap after another,” 60 Frederic Perdriel, 19, of the West A small protest in the city lamented Dow Wren ahead of Borne’s announcement. “There are other ways to finance pensions than raising the retirement age.”


Macron and Born need to win over conservatives Republicans support (LR) lawmakers if they are to pass reforms in Congress.

After the government made concessions on the retirement age, it looks less challenging than it did a few weeks ago – which Macron originally wanted it to be 56 – and a minimum pension. Still, LR is split on this issue, so every vote counts.

According to the government plan, the retirement age will gradually increase by three months starting from September every year, reaching 65 at 2030 .

Target age from 65, eight years earlier In past reform schemes, must work 43 years to receive full pension.

Borne says France’s neighbors will also have to raise the retirement age. Still, political opponents are unimpressed.

The Socialist Party, the hard-left La France Insoumise (France Unbowed) and the far-right National Rally were quick to condemn the reforms. Leftwing MP Mathilde Panot called the plan “outdated, unfair, brutal and cruel”. Say.

Meanwhile, Olivier Marleix, who leads the LR group in the House of Commons, reacted positively to Borne’s announcement and his vote will be key.

“They hear us,” Marleix said, while calling for more to help ensure people can find work as they approach retirement age .

Medef, the French association of major employers, also welcomes Borne’s proposal.



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