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French retirement-age protests expect lots of young people

French retirement-age protests expect lots of young people
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A significant number of young people are expected to turn out for another day of protests at pension reforms in France. It is the first time that unions are calling on them to join in. After all, young people would be the ones hardest hit by the proposed changes to the retirement age.

One French student said:
“It’ll mean more unemployment for us, because making people retire later means fewer jobs available, and we might not even get a retirement.”

Though unions are specifically calling on young people, some are drawing a clear distinction between those at university and students still in school.

Among those concerned is François Chérèque, General Secretary of the CFDT union:
“Young people have the right to take part in protests, but I have reservations about calling high school students to protest. It’s a bit like using a weak weapon.”

Last week there were nationwide protests against the plans to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. The government also want to raise the age for a full pension by two years, making it 67.