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Polish unionists take pension protest to parliament

Polish unionists take pension protest to parliament
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Opponents of pension reform in Poland are preparing to take their case to parliament ahead of Friday’s parliamentary vote on a possible referendum.

The government is proposing to raise the retirement age to 67 years old for both men and women. Currently men can retire at 65, women at 60.

The Solidarity union wants a referendum, with a large majority of Poles thought to be against the proposals.

Poland’s Prime Minister Donald Tusk has vowed to push through the “unpopular but necessary” move, a political gamble that could backfire for the ruling party that has seen its ratings slide in recent weeks.

The change would be brought in gradually up to 2040.

Poland currently spends 10.6 percent of its gross domestic product on pensions, roughly in line with Portugal and Germany, according to OECD data.

In 2010 there were 6.5 million pensioners in Poland and 18.1 million workers. The proportion would change to 12.2 million versus 12.7 million in 2060 if the current pension system is not changed.