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每日跟讀#743: French government spells out pension plan to calm strikes

法國政府出招 試圖平息全國大罷工

· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日跟讀#743: French government spells out pension plan to calm strikes

France’s prime minister said Wednesday that the full retirement age will be increased for the country’s youngest, but offered concessions in an ill-fated effort to calm a nationwide protest against pension reforms that critics say will erode the nation’s way of life.


The government is trying to make the pensions system sustainable and simpler but is facing public pressure, including a week of the most debilitating transport strikes in decades.


All metro lines bar two were closed and many train routes remained canceled as unions dug in their heels against President Emmanuel Macron, whom they accuse of shaping policies in favor of the rich.


Prime Minister Edouard Philippe detailed the pension reforms in a speech on Wednesday in central Paris, saying that the French “will need to work longer.” People born after 1974 will have to work until the age of 64 to get a full pension, instead of 62 previously. Those born before that date will not be affected in any way, he said.


The system replaces a complicated pension system that included dozens of special privileges for some sectors, like public transport, with one set of rules for all.


Philippe said the changes would ensure the pension system is “fair and sustainable” in the face of a growing population with a record number of people over 90.


Many French people and the unions leading the strikes fear the new system will force people to work longer for smaller pension allocations.


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