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France set for strike against pension reforms


France

France set for strike against pension reforms

Up to a million people are expected to take strike action in France today against the government’s pension reforms.

Serious disruption is likely to affect the whole country as rail, air and public transport workers walk out over plans to raise the retirement age.

Despite opposition efforts to delay the bill, the measure became law last week, albeit with minor changes.

Political analyst, Stephane Rozes, says by remaining firm on the policy the government hopes to dissuade demonstrators from taking to the streets.

Up to two million people protested during the last day of action. Union leaders say only a massive show of force again will press the government into taking action.

Jean Claude Mailly, General Secretary of the Workers’ Force union says the government cannot afford to be inflexible against such opposition.

The unrest mirrors action elsewhere in Europe as indebted governments cut back on spending.

But as pensions are the flagship reform of President’s Sarkozy’s first term, anything other than marginal concessions are unlikely.

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