A “rendez-vous with the future” is how France’s Labour Minister described the government’s proposals to progressively raise the retirement age.
As he remains mired in a corruption scandal, Eric Woerth’s critics say he has been too busy to come up with any new ideas.
But Woerth told parliament that France has to deal with its destiny: “Today, we live longer. It’s natural. It’s logical to extend the time at work. All the governments have down it: the ones from the Left and those from the Right. The prime minister said it: it’s not a reform of the Right, it’s not a reform of the Left. It’s a reform for the preservation of the pensions of French people.”
The parliamentary head of the opposition Socialists, Jean-Marc Ayrault, called on the government to “profoundly change” its plans, describing them as “unfair.”
Some 574 amendments have been proposed.
But new procedures mean the government and its majority can more easily control the length of the debate and ensure the legislation passes in this parliament.