The French Senate approved a pension reform bill on Tuesday, bringing the draft one step closer to law, despite weeks of nationwide protest against the reform. The text will come before the National Assembly on Wednesday for a final vote.
AFP - The French Senate confirmed Tuesday its vote to approve the final draft of President Nicolas Sarkozy's fiercely-contested bill to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.
The bill, which passed by 177 votes to 151, will now go to the lower house, the National Assembly, which is expected to formally adopt it on Wednesday, opening the way for Sarkozy to sign it into law.
"It's a historic vote," boasted Labour Minister Eric Woerth, hailing a victory for the government after a debate that lasted 143 hours spread over 16 days against a backdrop of street protests and strikes.
On Monday, Sarkozy's chief advisor on social affairs had said that the president would enact the law and place it in the official gazette on or around November 15.
Trade unions, meanwhile, are preparing another round of protests, starting with a national day of strikes and rallies on Thursday, to try to persuade Sarkozy to drop or dilute the law before it comes into effect.
Date created : 2010-10-26