In order for it to enter into force, it needs the consensus of the Chamber of Deputies. There are massive protests and rejection by society.
The French Senate approved this Wednesday the article of the questioned government project for retirement pension reform that raises the minimum age for retirement from 62 to 64 years.
The controversial initiative had the approval of the Upper House with 201 votes in favor and 115 against. However, for it to enter into force, it must also have the consensus of the deputies, who have a legal term to debate until March 26.
The project promoted by the government of President Emmanuel Macron seeks to progressively raise the retirement age, at a rate of three months per year, as of September 1, 2023. In this way, the 64-year-old requirement would only be reached in 2030.
In parallel, the initiative proposes that to obtain a full retirement credit, without discounts, the required contribution period increases from 42 to 43 years, at a rate of one quarter per year until 2027.
The reform is highly resisted in society. According to various surveys, two out of three Frenchmen expressed their rejection. In addition, the main union organizations have carried out six days of general strike and massive street protests.
Society’s rejection of the pension reform in France
Since the pension reform was presented in January, the unions organized large mobilizations, including the largest in three decades: this Tuesday, barely a day before the Senate approved the initiative, 3.5 million people demonstrated in the More than 200 rallies called throughout the country, according to the CGT union, while the Ministry of the Interior estimated 1.28 million. However, they failed to get the government to back down.
The protest was strong in Rennes, in northwestern France. AFP photo
“It has been a historic day, due to the extent of the strikes and the mobilization,” said the main unions in a joint statement in which they insisted that “the government must withdraw its project.”
The unions called a new massive demonstration for next Saturday, and warned that the lack of response from the Executive “inevitably leads to a situation that could become explosive.”
This Tuesday, 80 percent of the high-speed trains (TGV) on average and practically all other long-distance conventional trains.
On international lines, there was no service on the Paris-Barcelona corridor or on the lines between France and Germany; only one return train on the links with Italy, and 20 percent of the usual ones on the connections with Switzerland.
Meanwhile, the strike also included the suppression of 20 percent of the flights at Charles de Gaulle and 30 percent at the other airport in Paris, as well as those in Beauvais, Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Nantes, Marseille, Montpellier, Nice and Toulouse.
With information from Telam.