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French government is discussing reform of pension systems under street pressure

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — On Friday, the French cabinet will discuss the controversial pension reform project proposed by President Emmanuel Macron, and opponents of the reform have chosen this date to organize strikes and demonstrations.

The head of the Confederation of Public Work Philip Martins pledged to “withstand the withdrawal” of the reform project. But once it is adopted, the cabinet will refer the bill to Parliament for decision.

Trade union coordination, which brings together a large number of unions, hopes that during the fifty-first day of the movement that started on 5 December, it will achieve “maximum mobilization” and “continue to expand the movements”.

Today, demonstrations are being held throughout France. In Paris, the demonstration procession is expected to pass in the center of the capital, where it will start late in the morning from the Republic Square towards the Place de la Concorde, and is expected to disperse at seven in the evening (six o’clock GMT).

Security Governor Didier Lamon said that the police “harnessed important human and material resources” in anticipation of the possibility of “acts of violence and sabotage,” and called for “each party taking responsibility” to avoid similar incidents.

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”.

After returning to a near-normal situation in the transport sector in recent days, traffic will witness a new disruption due to the rail strike and public transport in Paris, especially the metro.

Once the cabinet adopts the two bills aimed at creating a “comprehensive pension system” based on a system of funds, it will refer them to Parliament.

In parallel, discussions are continuing between the government, unions and employers on focal points of the project, such as the arduous occupations, the minimum pensions and the employment of the elderly.

There are many issues that make the final cost of the reform unclear, and the “balance (of the new pension system) up to 2027” will be addressed in a “funders conference” charged with finding a solution before the end of April.

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