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More pension protests in France

More pension protests in France
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Tens of thousands of protesters have once again poured onto the streets of France to protest against government plans to raise the retirement age.

This is the fifth day of demonstrations in just over a month.

The government says the age limit must go up by two years to 62 to plug the pensions black hole which is opening up in the economy.

But the unions and the socialist opposition want to force officials into a u-turn.

Both sides seem firmly entrenched and there are no signs that either will back down.

Government officials say an estimated 340 thousand people have turned out – less than on previous days and less than expected.

The unions have not provided an estimate – but say there are no signs the protests are losing momentum.

A nationwide stoppage last Tuesday brought more than a million onto the streets – and some have kept up their action since then.

This time around, the ranks of protestors were bolstered by high school students. Latest polls suggest more than half the French want fresh pension legislation to be drawn up.

The current bill is due to come before the upper house for final approval this week.