Sarkozy stands firm on pension reforms

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Sarkozy stands firm on pension reforms

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The new age of retirement is not negotiable.

That is the blunt message from the French President today after a meeting with his government following massive street demonstrations.

Nicolas Sarkozy says he has heard the public’s worries, but only some details of his pension reform plans are open to discussion.

Government spokesman Luc Chatel said: “Some things are at the heart of the reform and therefore aren’t negotiable. If we go back on the age, the whole balance of the reforms will collapse.”

The government wants to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62, arguing that reform is urgently needed to ensure pensions can be paid for in the future.

The head of the FO union, Jean-Claude Mailly, said: “The government is following a political and financial logic linked to the crisis. And that’s not working. What are people saying on the streets? They don’t want to work longer. I don’t see how we can avoid another day of action.”

Boosted by a massive turnout at rallies around the country on Tuesday, eight of France’s main unions met to decide their next move.

They have decided to hold another day of mass demonstrations on September 23.