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    HomeWorld"Emmanuel Macron's Pensions Reform Passed as Unions Persist in Opposition"

    “Emmanuel Macron’s Pensions Reform Passed as Unions Persist in Opposition”

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    French President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial pension reform was approved by the constitutional court on Friday. The reform, which includes raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 and extending the years of work required for a full pension, has sparked months of protests and strikes. Unions have vowed to continue opposing the changes, with mass Labour Day protests planned for May 1. Violent demonstrations erupted in several cities after the verdict was announced. Six minor proposals were rejected, including forcing large companies to publish how many over-55s they employ and the creation of a special contract for older workers.

    The pensions reform was officially promulgated into law on Saturday after being published in the Official Journal, France’s gazette of record. Macron’s approval ratings are near their lowest levels ever, and many voters have criticised his decision to pass the pensions law without a vote. The constitutional court’s decision has come at a major personal cost for the president, according to analysts.

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    Also read:  Workshop on World Literature to be Held in Hyderabad from May 18

    Last Thursday, 380,000 people took to the streets nationwide in the latest day of union-led action, according to the interior ministry. This is a small fraction of the nearly 1.3 million who demonstrated at the height of the protests in March. Unions issued a joint statement urging Macron not to sign the legislation into law, saying the issue was “not finished”. Communist Party leader Fabien Roussel warned that signing the law “would not be pouring oil on the fire, but a jerrycan full of petrol.”

    Opponents of the changes argue that they penalise women and unskilled workers who started their careers early and undercut the right to a long retirement. France lags behind most of its European neighbours, many of which have hiked the retirement age to 65 or above. Senior ruling party MP Eric Woerth said he hoped that more people living longer would convince the country of the need for change. Polls show that two out of three French people are against working a further two years. Macron has called the change “necessary” to avoid annual pension deficits forecast to hit €13.5bn ($14.8bn) by 2030, according to government figures.

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    Rajesh M
    Rajesh M
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