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France: Government to refer pension reform law to parliament despite protests

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — On Friday, the French cabinet discussed the project to reform pension systems proposed by President Emmanuel Macron and referred it to parliament, despite the pressure of unions that organized demonstrations and strikes in the country.

The demonstrations took place in several parts of France. In Paris , the demonstration crossed the center of the capital, as it started before noon from the Republic Square towards the Place de la Concorde.

The head of the Confederation of Public Work Philip Martins pledged to “withstand the withdrawal” of the reform project. “The mobilization is always important because the government continues to stubbornness, it must continue to put pressure on it,” said Martinez, who was at the forefront of the protest.

At the start of the Parisian demonstration that gathered several thousand people, the leader of the “Manpower” union Yves Fieret affirmed that “when the president says that the reform has existed for a long time, I can say that it will not last and I am convinced that it will end with wide amendments.”

As for the leader of the “far-right France” party (Jean-Luc Melanchon), he said that “when the cabinet discusses a bill, it clearly means that Macron is no longer seeking persuasion and his intention to win is the worst that can happen in a democratic society.”

Opponents of the pension reform project face a challenge to maintain the continuity of the protest movement, especially after the government reached an agreement with more moderate unions.

The recent demonstrations were few in number and the strike declined in the public transport sector, despite the unions’ announcement that work would be suspended during the seventh “mobilization day”.

After traffic has returned to a normal position in recent days, she has been restless again. While international express trains worked almost normally, the Paris metro worked less smoothly, with only three lines operating normally.

Police official Didier Lamon said that the police “harnessed important human and material resources” in anticipation of “violence and sabotage”.

Tension escalated to its highest levels this week after power cuts were adopted by the General Confederation of Labor, whose police briefly detained some of its members. While the government called for sanctions, Martins accused her of “fueling the situation”.

Unstable financial balance

“I think the French are tired of this strike,” State Minister of Transport Jean-Baptiste Gabbari said Thursday.

And Andre, 34, who works as a nurse and was waiting for three hours in the city of Lille (north) because of the cancellation of the train trip, said, “It is certainly complicated, but I agree with the strikers.”

However, support for the strike does not have the support of everyone, according to a poll conducted by the company “PVA” on Friday, 70 percent of the French estimate that the movement of protests must continue, while another poll conducted by the company “Doxa” is counterproductive, as 56 percent of the French crossed Their desire to “stop” the strike.

The strike continued in sectors other than transportation. The Eiffel Tower remained closed throughout the day, as did some schools, and teachers are at the forefront of the protests. Although a new mobilization day was announced on January 29, the government maintained its program of work.

Since January 17, parliament has been debating a reform project that would eliminate special pension schemes that currently allow some occupational groups, such as train workers, to retire at a younger age.

In parallel, talks continue between the government, unions, and employers on focal points of the project along the lines of arduous occupations, minimum pensions, and employment of the elderly.

There are many issues that make the final cost of reform unclear, and “balance (the fiscal of the new pension system) through 2027” will be addressed in a “funders conference” that begins on January 30 and must find solutions before the end of April.

The government has accepted to withdraw the incentive scheme proposal that strongly urges workers to continue working until the age of 64 instead of retiring at the age of 62.

This temporary withdrawal allowed the conclusion of an agreement between the government and “reformist” trade unions along the lines of the “French Democratic Democratic Confederation of Labor”, whose Secretary-General Laurent Bergeret warned that “the situation will remain very tense if no solution is found.”

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