Elisabeth Borne, the French Prime Minister, revealed details about a reform to pensions on Tuesday (10/01/). The reform has already caused anger among unions as well as a large number voters. This will be a critical test of President Emmanuel Macron’s willingness and ability to make changes.
One thing is certain: French workers must work harder than they are now.
The government will most likely raise the retirement age to 64 from 62. Macron had originally desired 65, but Macron will need to give up one-year to allow parliament to adopt the reform.
One thing is certain: Labor unions will be harmed by the government. Even the moderately reform-minded CFDT has stated that they are opposed to raising the retirement age.
64 and 65 are irrelevant to them. Both are unacceptable.
The conservative Les Republicains is a key group — but the age target remains crucial. As Macron lost his majority in the last year, parliament’s reform will be determined by the votes of its lawmakers.
LR may have suffered a significant loss in the last year’s elections but their MPs would be enough to push through reform.
Eric Ciotti, the new chief at LR, stated that he supports the reform – as long as his conditions are met. They include raising the retirement age to 65 from 64, and increasing the minimum pension for all retired people, rather than just those who are recently retired.
But, there’s still uncertainty because not all his party members agree.
The streets seem to be the most difficult challenge at this stage.
It is not clear if the unions can gather enough people to protest Macron’s pension reform and other issues like the crisis of the cost of living.
France’s pension reform is a delicate topic. This is particularly true in light of growing social discontent and the rising cost-of-living.
France has the lowest retirement age of all industrialized nations. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) says that France spends more than any other country on pensions, at nearly 14% of its economic output.
But, polls show that pension reform is less popular.
Only 27% support raising the retirement age. According to an Elabe survey, only 27% of voters support raising the retirement age. 47% want no changes in the retirement age. 25% would prefer that it be earlier.
Because of the COVID epidemic, Macron had to delay his first attempt to reform pensions in 2020.
The strike action was restricted to specific sectors, such as airlines and refineries. However, anger at pension reform could lead to wider protests.
Olivier Veran, spokesperson for the government said that reforming pensions was not popular. Instead, he stated that reforming pensions is not a popular idea. We will continue to work because it is the only way for our social model to survive.
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