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Monday, January 30, 2023
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France protests against Macron’s pension reform

Over a million people participated in protests across France, stopping trains and reducing electricity production in opposition to the government’s plans to increase the retirement age by two years to 64.

The government reported that 1.12 million people altogether had participated in the protest, including 80,000 at a march in Paris when some demonstrators and police had a brief altercation.

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The work stoppages represented a significant challenge for President Emmanuel Macron, who claimed on Thursday that his pension reform plan, which surveys show is wildly unpopular, was fair and responsible and had to be implemented.

Protesters protest with banners saying, “It’s salaries and pensions that must be increased, not the retirement age.”

The attendance was quite high and higher than the turnout at the initial protest against the last pension change in 2019.

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The hardline CGT union leader Philippe Martinez stated that more than 2 million people participated. However, Police and union estimates may differ greatly in France. Political observers claimed that the turnout is positive for the unions in any case.

According to the administration, pension reform is essential to prevent the system’s collapse.

According to calculations from the Labour Ministry, rising the retirement age by two years and prolonging the pay-in period would result in an extra 17.7 billion euros ($19.1 billion) in pension contributions each year, enabling the system to break even by 2027.



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