French people revolt against reimposition of neoliberal austerity

2M take to streets of France in mass protests against pension reform

Jan 20, 2023

At least 2 million people poured on to the streets of France on Thursday in mass protests against a contentious government plan to hike the age of retirement, according to the CGT union.
The union counted 400,000 protesters in the capital Paris, with at least another 20,000 turning out in the southern coastal city of Nice.
The Interior Ministry placed the nationwide figure at 1.12 million, including 80,000 people in Paris.
The turnout largely exceeded trade unions’ expectations of around 1 million people.
More strikes are expected in the country amid simmering anger over President Emmanuel Macron’s planned pension reforms, which include hiking the retirement age from 62 to 64.

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Pensions reform: We’re not going without a fight, the streets tell Macron

Jan 20, 2023

Some 1.12 million people, according to official statistics, took to the streets of France on Thursday to express anger at President Emmanuel Macron’s pensions reform, while unions claim the number was over two million.
The day’s turnout was a political win for France’s unions, who hoped to set a rapport de force against the government.
Firefighters, bakers, museum workers, teachers, train and metro drivers, but also high-school students and regular citizens stopped work on Thursday in protest of a reform they deem unjust and untimely as the cost-of-living crisis hits an all-time high.
The long-debated reform will see the legal retirement age increase from 62 to 64 by 2030, starting from 1 September 2023. Retirees will continue to benefit from a full pension from 67 years of age. Specific policy changes would be enshrined in the bill to support the most at-risk.

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France’s pension reform: why so much opposition?

Jan 29, 2023

More than 1.1 million people demonstrated against the planned pension reform in France on Thursday, according to the country’s Interior Ministry. The trade unions put that figure at more than two million.The pension reform, which President Macron has called “fair and responsible”, involves raising the retirement age from 62 to 64. Europe’s press discusses whether the project is legitimate in its current form.
For Le Courrier, France’s president is getting the protests he deserves:
“His contempt for the people, which is also contempt for democracy, is now becoming apparent. … Emmanuel Macron was elected only as a lesser evil to stop the far right and as a beneficiary of France’s majority voting system. He now finds himself without a parliamentary majority. A big political blow-out cannot be ruled out. Who would benefit from this? … In any case, the scale of the social movement on Thursday shows that the progressive camp has the potential to offer a credible alternative to the ghost ship of ‘Macronie’, which has nothing to offer but empty storytelling. That is no doubt the best news of the day.”

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Nine EU countries need pension reform

Dec 14, 2022

Nine EU countries have not explicitly committed to pension reforms in their recovery and resilience plans despite Commission recommendations on the matter from the 2019 European Semester, according to Commission documents and declarations made to EURACTIV.

In 2019, during the European Semester, 17 EU countries received recommendations on the “long-term sustainability of public finances”, and 15 were urged to specifically reform their pension systems. Some of them were again asked to pursue reforms of the retirement system with the Next Generation EU plan and again in 2022.

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Asked by EURACTIV, the Commission considers that only six of the 15 countries have “explicitly” planned to reform their respective pension systems, with the other nine being late – or rather not officially committed. These are the Czech Republic, Germany, France, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands and Poland.

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