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French government to formally unveil controversial pension reform plan


French government to formally unveil controversial pension reform plan

france pension reform
Photo: Kenzo Triboullard/AFP/Getty

Thousands of demonstrators are expected across France today as the government formally unveils its pension reform plan to the Council of Ministers.

Protests on January 16 over the proposed change saw 187,000 demonstrators around the country.

President Emmanuel Macron’s plan to merge France’s various pension schemes into a single system has triggered more than a month of strikes, particularly in the public transport sector. While the president argues the reform would streamline the existing system and create a more flexible labour market, unions say it will require people to work longer for a full pension.

Concessions by the government, notably a delay to raise the age at which workers can claim a full pension from 62 to 64, have contributed to a waning in strikes. However, the more militant unions are demanding that Macron abandon his reform plan entirely.

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Photo: Susan Walsh/AP

With the government likely to refuse scrapping the pensions overhaul, unions have promised to up their opposition, with ports, public transport and court services among the sectors disrupted ahead of today’s announcement. Moving forward, unions have warned they could begin limiting output at nuclear power plants and other sites as part of its efforts to force the government to abandon the overhaul.

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