The French Senate votes to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64

PARIS: France’s Senate on Thursday voted to raise the retirement age by two years to 64 as the government seeks to overhaul the country’s pension system amid strong union opposition.

The Conservative-dominated legislature passed a crucial article raising the retirement age by 201 to 115 votes.

Debate continues later on Thursday over a controversial amendment to the bill.

The Senate majority is rushing to meet a deadline of midnight Sunday to finalize the legislation.

Liberal politicians expressed anger after the vote.

“Your name will forever be linked to a reform that will turn the clock back almost 40 years,” socialist Monique Lubin told Labor Minister Olivier Dussopt.

The unions have promised to use protests and strikes to pressure the government.

Fuel deliveries, trains and flights were halted for a second day on Wednesday following mass rallies.

Key seaports have also been blocked as dockers joined ongoing strikes to persuade President Emmanuel Macron to reverse course on the bill he was championing.

Macron has put change at the heart of his political agenda. His government argues that raising the retirement age and tightening the requirements for a full pension are essential to keep the system from running into deficit.

France lags behind most of its European neighbors, which have raised the retirement age to 65 or higher. –AFP The French Senate votes to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64

Russell Falcon

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