Macron signs France pension change, unions promise more protests

French President Emmanuel Macron on Saturday signed into law a deeply unpopular bill to raise the country’s retirement age, infuriating unions who have pledged to continue months-long protests against the measure.

The enactment of the law in the country’s official gazette comes hours after France’s Constitutional Council approved raising the retirement age in a decision on Friday.

The legislation, which will progressively raise the age of receiving a state pension from 62 to 64, is expected to take effect from September 1.

The law’s rapid enactment infuriated unions who had urged the government to wait to defuse tensions.

“This is a totally shameful decision,” Sophie Binet, head of the CGT union, told Franceinfo radio. “He (Macron) has slammed the door in our faces yet again.”

Unions called on workers to attend May 1 Labor Day marches. Binet said further action would take place on April 20 and 28, while rail workers’ unions called for an “anger” day on April 20.

Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt downplayed the timing of the enactment, telling France Culture radio that the government wanted to talk to unions about other social issues.

Following the announcement of the Constitutional Council’s decision, crowds marched through Paris on Friday night, with some rubbish bins burning, while in the northwestern city of Rennes, the entrance to a police station was set on fire.

Public hostility has increased since the government, which lacks a majority in parliament, passed the bill in March without a final vote.

Macron, whose invitation to unions for a meeting on Tuesday was rejected, will deliver a televised speech on Monday night, French media reported. The president’s office did not immediately confirm the speech.

“Never give up, that’s my motto,” the president said on Friday, ahead of the Constitutional Council’s verdict, as he visited Notre-Dame on the anniversary of a fire that destroyed Paris’ famous cathedral.

#Macron #signs #France #pension #change #unions #promise #protests

Leave a Comment