Domestic Affairs

Massive social protests against pension reform continue in France

by teleSUR

Despite massive social protests, President Emmanuel Macron will not make concessions and will keep his proposal to raise the minimum retirement age from 62 to 64.

“Our goal is to return to financial balance from 2030. Giving up the proposed retirement age would mean giving up the balance,” Labor Minister Olivier Dussop said after the Council of Ministers approved the pension system reform draft.

Lawmaker Jean-Luc Melenchon forcibly criticized that initiative, which he stressed the Macron administration backs to satisfy the interests of those who promote “the laws of the market.”

“We are defending the right to live fully and humanely in a free time. What does the Macron administration yet want to do? Turn all our lives into merchandise,” he lamented.

Melenchon argued that there is no point in working longer since the key to achieving better economic advantage is not to produce more but better.

“This initiative will only worsen the situation since it will promote more sickness and shorter lifetime for French citizens,” the opposition lawmaker stressed.

National trade unions have strongly opposed the proposal of raising the retirement age. On Jan. 19, they organized strikes and mass demonstrations in which almost 2 million people took part. Upon hearing of Macron’s refusal, they called another demonstration for Jan. 31.

“These initiatives defend our citizens’ right to mark a pause in their working lives. The time of life that counts is not only the time that you think is useful because it produces but also the one available to you to take care of your own,” Melenchon insisted.

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