PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron insisted on the necessity for elevating the retirement age from 62 to 64 in an effort to make the French pension system financially sustainable within the coming years, in a letter to employees’ unions launched Friday.
The transfer comes after greater than 1,000,000 demonstrators marched in cities and cities throughout France this week as prepare and metro drivers, refinery employees and others began open-ended strikes in opposition to the centrist authorities’s plan.
Unions referred to as for extra protests on Saturday. They’re demanding the withdrawal of the invoice, which is being debated by the French Senate this week.
In line with the letter supplied by the president’s workplace, Macron mentioned he made the selection to “make the French work just a little longer” as a result of different choices, which he rejected, would have concerned “lowering pensions, elevating taxes or letting our youngsters and grandchildren carry the monetary burden.”
Union chief Francois Hommeril of the CFE-CGC, which represents employees within the vitality sector, amongst others, mentioned Friday that Macron’s letter gave the impression to be one other “missed alternative” for the president to pursue reforms whereas listening to involved employees.
The president “acts as if the social motion didn’t exist,” French broadcaster BFM TV quoted Hommeril as saying. He added: “I’m very dissatisfied and frightened about (Macron’s) response.”
Opinion polls constantly present a majority of the French oppose the change. Left-wing lawmakers argue firms and the rich ought to pitch in additional to finance the pension system.
Macron additionally recalled the measure was a key promise from his presidential marketing campaign final yr, including that he made a concession by agreeing to place the age restrict at 64, down from 65 as initially deliberate.
“You strongly categorical your disagreement,” Macron wrote to the unions. “I don’t underestimate the discontent … in addition to the anxiousness expressed by many French individuals who have issues about by no means getting any pension.”
In the meantime, the federal government requested Friday for a particular process to be carried out on the Senate to speed up the controversy by organizing one single vote on the entire invoice, quite than voting on every modification and article.
The federal government’s choice to apparently push the invoice by the senate will “deepen the anger” amongst French employees, mentioned Fabrice Coudour, a pacesetter of the influential union CGT Vitality. He referred to as on strikers and opponents of the retirement reform to take their grievances to the streets on Saturday.
The Senate, which is dominated by members of The Republicans social gathering, is anticipated to approve the invoice. Conservative senators have pushed for years to lift the minimal retirement age.
If the invoice is authorised by the Senate, it’s going to proceed making its approach subsequent week by France’s advanced legislative course of.