Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

REPORTERS

Indian election: Votes for sale

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

i Gracias, Gabo i

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

The Socialist rebellion grows

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Can Weibo win over US investors?

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Algeria: What's the Choice? Incumbent Bouteflika Votes in Wheelchair

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Virunga Park chief shot

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algerian election: Bouteflika votes in wheelchair

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Algeria's media: a mixture of censorship and free speech

Read more

  • Captain not at helm when ship listed, South Korean officials say

    Read more

  • Top Hollande adviser resigns over conflict of interest accusation

    Read more

  • Indian election: Votes for sale

    Read more

  • Video: Tensions remain high in Mariupol despite Geneva deal

    Read more

  • Nobel-winning Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez dies at 87

    Read more

  • West African Ebola outbreak caused by new strain of virus

    Read more

  • With a strong French presence, veterans and fresh faces, Cannes aims to please

    Read more

  • Deadly avalanche strikes Everest in worst-ever disaster

    Read more

  • Low turnout reported in Algeria as Bouteflika seeks fourth term

    Read more

  • Astronomers discover Earth-like planet that could support life

    Read more

  • Russia and West agree on steps to ease Ukraine crisis

    Read more

  • Mob launches deadly attack on UN shelter for S. Sudan civilians

    Read more

  • Eurostar train mishap causes 'severe' delays

    Read more

  • Chelsea Clinton announces she's pregnant

    Read more

  • French troops free five aid workers kidnapped in Mali by Islamists

    Read more

  • In pictures: Iranian woman pardons son’s killer at the gallows

    Read more

  • After cup defeat, Spanish pundits read last rites for Barcelona

    Read more

  • India heads to polls in single largest day of voting

    Read more

  • Ukraine talks open in Geneva as Putin talks tough on TV

    Read more

  • Pro-Russian separatists killed in attack on Black Sea base

    Read more

  • Man executed in Texas for 2002 triple murder

    Read more

  • Scandal-hit French doctor Jacques Servier dies at 92

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in DR Congo

    Read more

  • Crunch talks on Ukraine begin in Geneva

    Read more

  • Stagehand of God? Maradona's legendary goal inspires a play

    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

Comments

COMMENT(S)