BBC News 
Friday, October 22, 2010
The French Senate has passed a controversial pension reform bill, which has caused a series of strikes and protests around France.
The senators approved President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62, and it could become law as early as next week.
Mr Sarkozy says the measure is necessary to reduce the deficit.
But hundreds of thousands have protested against what they see as an attack on their rights.
Senators passed the motion to raise the retirement age by 177 votes to 153, after the government used a special measure known as a guillotine to cut short the debate on the bill.
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