France’s National Assembly has passed a controversial bill which raises the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62 from 2018.
The legislation will also raise the the age of entitlement to a full pension from 65 to 67.
Amid angry exchanges, the Parliamentary leader of the Socialists Jean Marc Ayrault attacked the legislation.
He reserved his harshest criticism for Labour Minister Eric Woerth, calling him a liar and accusing the ruling UMP party of protecting the rich.
Socialists became angry that they were denied the right to each speak for 5 minutes to oppose the bill.
They argue the reforms are dangerous and unjust. Their attempt, however, to stall the vote was unsuccessful.
The anger of many MPs spread onto the streets of Paris too. Trade unionists protested in front of the National Assembly demanding concessions to the bill.
A poll today showed 60 percent of people backed their demands, but many accept reforms are needed to clear a pension deficit.
Union leaders called for a national strike on September 23rd – the second in a month.
The legislation will now be debated in France’s Upper House, the Senate, in the coming weeks.