More strikes, protests expected in opposition to French pensions reforms

Protesters will take to the streets of Paris today over French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent pension reforms. The main area

france pension tax protest

Photo: Philippe Lopez/AFP

Protesters will take to the streets of Paris today over French President Emmanuel Macron’s recent pension reforms.

The main area of contention for French citizens is the age at which one can draw a full pension, which was previously the lowest of all OECD states but has since been raised.

The protests are the continuation of the “yellow vest” movement and target a litany of subjects that citizens believe the current French administration has not addressed. Thousands of demonstrators took to the streets on September 20 and 21 over climate change inaction and planned retirement reform. French police responded by deploying 7,500 officers, arresting more than 100 protesters, and firing numerous rounds of teargas into crowds.

A year ago, Macron conceded to protesters by delivering on packages that improved purchasing power for low-wage earners. While the demonstrations now are of a much smaller magnitude, Macron will indeed have to consider short-term concessions so that the long-term benefits of pension reform are achieved.

Macron has made clear, however, that pension reform is now a number one policy priority and has created a team to negotiate with unions to drive the reform home.

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