Macron’s new attempt at pension reform

Macron’s new attempt at pension reform

PRight at the beginning of the year, French President Emmanuel Macron tackles one of the most difficult reform projects. If he has his way, a reform of the old-age security systems in France should take effect “from the summer of 2023”. The plan is to gradually raise the retirement age from the current 62 to a presumed 65 years, but details are not yet known. “We have to work more,” said Macron in his New Year’s speech. The aim is to permanently secure the financing of pensions “which would otherwise be threatened because we finance them with loans,” said the head of state.

Trade unions and the left-wing opposition are up in arms against the reform project even before it is officially presented in the Council of Ministers on January 10. “January will be hot,” threatened left-wing spokesman Jean-Luc Mélenchon of the Indomitable France (LFI) party. A first protest march is to be organized on January 21st.

“Macron is lying,” LFI MP Clémentine Autain said on France Inter radio on Monday. It is not true that the financing of pensions is not secured. New Green party leader Marine Tondelier said on radio station RFI: “We are totally mobilized to get the government to back down on pension reform.” Communist party leader Fabien Roussel lamented that Macron would divide the country with the reform. “We will not allow any reform that forces us to work longer hours from 2023,” the communist said. The leader of the Rassemblement National (RN), Marine Le Pen, has also expressed opposition to the proposed reform. Although she no longer calls for a return to retirement at 60, she wants to avert an increase in the retirement age.

Macron’s political legacy

Even the most important trade unions cannot gain anything from the project. The leader of the moderate CFDT, Laurent Berger, has repeatedly expressed his opposition to raising the retirement age. “Such a brutal measure, which primarily affects employees with the lowest incomes, is by no means necessary,” says the CFDT. Berger asked if the government “has any desire to set the country on fire and carry out this deeply unjust reform, especially for ordinary workers”? Berger has a meeting this Tuesday with Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, who is also receiving other union and employer representatives for final consultations. The head of government was already unable to work out a compromise with the social partners during the previous consultations.

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