Thursday, May 27, 2010
Strikes across France have delayed flights, closed schools and frustrated commuters as workers protest over government plans to raise the retirement age past 60.
President Nicolas Sarkozy wants to raise the age to 61 or 62, reforms that have been under discussion since well before the current European debt crisis.
Despite the protests, the French retirement changes are minor compared with the harsh austerity measures of other European nations, including Greece, Ireland and Portugal.
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Spain and Italy have also announced cuts as a debt crisis that started in Greece weakened the euro and raised questions about the future of the currency that is shared by 16 nations.
Some unions say France’s pension budget shortfall could be reduced by raising workers’ monthly contributions.
“Even though we need pension reform, extending the retirement age is the most unjust way,” the head of the CFDT union, Francois Chereque, said.
This article was posted: Thursday, May 27, 2010 at 9:47 am