Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Search of Air Algerie crash site continues

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Sarkozy, Hollande and the scooter wars

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Confusion online over Air Algérie flight

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

REPORTERS

Halal tourism on the rise

Read more

ENCORE!

Tunisia's Carthage International Festival turns 50

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

WWI Centenary: the battle for Verdun

Read more

THE BUSINESS INTERVIEW

When big companies want to do good

Read more

  • Gaza conflict rages on despite pledges of truce

    Read more

  • France calls on its nationals to leave Libya as violence escalates

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • Nibali joins elite group with Tour de France win

    Read more

  • Boko Haram kidnap Cameroon minister's wife in deadly attack

    Read more

  • Muslims prepare for Eid al-Fitr festival

    Read more

  • ‘Irresponsible’ American dad tries to scale Mont Blanc with children

    Read more

  • Ukraine fighting prevents observers from accessing MH17 crash site

    Read more

  • In pictures: Crowds flock to enjoy the Tour de France show

    Read more

  • Netanyahu says Hamas 'violating its own ceasefire'

    Read more

  • Video: At the scene of the Air Algérie crash in Mali

    Read more

  • Costa Concordia arrives in port of Genoa to be scrapped

    Read more

  • In pictures: Youths clash with police at banned Gaza protest

    Read more

  • Russia lashes out at new EU sanctions over Ukraine

    Read more

  • Bodies of all Air Algérie crash victims to be brought to France

    Read more

  • Syrian army and ISIS both claim advances

    Read more

  • Briton kidnapped in Yemen freed after five months

    Read more

  • New round of Gaza ceasefire talks takes place in Paris

    Read more

France

Parliament adopts pension bill, paving the way for reform

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-10-27

France's lower house of parliament approved a pension reform bill on Wednesday, removing the last legislative hurdle to the proposal becoming law. The draft's proposal to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62 has triggered weeks of protest.

 

AP - France’s parliament granted final approval Wednesday to a bill raising the retirement age from 60 to 62, a reform that has infuriated the country’s powerful unions and touched off weeks of protests and strikes.
 
The National Assembly approved the final text of the bill in a 336-233 vote Wednesday, marking its final hurdle in parliament. It was a victory for conservative President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has stood firm despite the protests -- an unpopular stance that has resulted in his lowest approval ratings since he took office in 2007.
 
Protesters aren’t yet giving up the fight, since Sarkozy hasn’t yet signed the bill. In an attempt to revive a protest movement that has lost momentum lately, unions plan a new nationwide day of street protests and strikes Thursday that are expected to cause travel problems.
 
France’s civil aviation authority says Thursday’s strikes mean airlines must cancel a third of their flights at Charles de Gaulle, Paris’ main airport, and half their flights at the smaller Orly airport south of the capital. Airlines generally try to spare long-haul flights in such cancellations.
 
A two-week train strike has been tapering off, and only a small number of trains were to be canceled Thursday.
 
Some striking refinery workers have returned to the job, but French drivers are facing substantial fuel shortages: As of Tuesday evening, about one gas station in five was still closed, with the worst problems around Paris and in western France.
 
Striking dock workers have exacerbated the fuel shortages. Oil tankers are lined up in the Mediterranean as far as the eye can see off the port of Marseille, waiting to unload. The Normandy port of Le Havre faces a similar situation.
 
Unions see retirement at 60 as a cornerstone of France’s generous social benefit system, but the conservative government says the entire pension system is in jeopardy without the reform because French people now have longer lifespans -- an average of nearly 85 years for women and 78 for men, according to newly released figures from statistics agency Insee.
 
Millions of people have marched against the plan, and strikes and protests have caused travel chaos, school closures and fuel shortages for weeks.
 
The opposition Socialists plan to challenge the bill’s constitutionality before a special council. Sarkozy must wait for the council’s approval before he signs it, a step expected in mid-November.
 
Bernard Thibault, who heads the hardline CGT labor union, said the battle wasn’t over yet.
 
“Until the bill becomes law, we will continue to fight,” he told Liberation.

 

Date created : 2010-10-27

  • FRANCE

    French pension reform bill faces final vote in parliament

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Senate approves pension reform draft, bill heads for final vote

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Students called to protest as pensions bill reaches final stage

    Read more

COMMENT(S)