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Hollande rolls back Sarkozy's retirement reforms

Hollande rolls back Sarkozy's retirement reforms
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French President Francois Hollande unveiled a plan on Wednesday to lower the retirement age to 60 for some long-term workers.

It partially reverses his predecessor’s Nicolas Sarkozy’s 2010 decision to raise the pension age to 62, which sparked protests and strikes nationwide.

Full retirement will again be available at 60 for anyone who started work before the age of 20, as well as mothers of three or more children and older unemployed people.

Marisol Touraine, the Social Affairs minister, explained Hollande was honouring an election pledge, describing it as “a measure of social justice”.

The government says the move will affect 110,000 people. It will cost 1.1 billion euros per year until 2017, and three billion thereafter.

Hollande plans to fund the changes, which take effect later this year, with a 0.1 percentage point increase in payroll charges.

But the European Commission warns France will struggle to meet an EU target of cutting its public deficit to three percent of GDP without spending cuts.

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