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1 million+ protest France's plan to raise retirement age


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More than 1 million people have taken part in demonstrations across France as transport, schools and refineries were hit by strikes in protest at Emmanuel Macron’s unpopular plans to raise the retirement age by two years to 64.


The interior ministry said 1.12 million people protested nationwide on Thursday, with 80,000 taking part in the biggest rally in Paris. Trade unions said the figure was even higher.

 

Local and regional train services across France ground almost to a standstill, and public transport in cities including Paris was “very disrupted”, according to operators.


Many primary schools closed for the day. Authorities estimated 40% of primary teachers and more than 30% of secondary teachers went on strike. Unions said participation was higher, at 70% in primary schools.


Public service radio and television were also disrupted, and some theatres and museums closed. Some refinery shipments were blocked and energy output lowered.

 

The 24-hour strike and protests in 200 towns and cities are the first big test for Macron since his re-election against his far-right rival Marine Le Pen last spring.


Macron has made the pensions issue a marker of his aim to transform France and overhaul its social model and welfare system. He insists he will deliver his key election pledge to change the French pension system – raising the retirement age for most people to 64 from 62 and increasing the years of contributions required for a full pension. Opinion polls have shown most French people oppose these proposals and view them as unjust, even if many agree with a need for change.


At a French-Spanish summit in Barcelona, Macron defended what he called a “fair and responsible reform” and said he hoped the protests would not descend into violence.

 

The main question for Macron and the government is whether trade unions, who joined together in a rare and historic united front for a 24-hour strike, will harness public anger into a broader social protest movement and continue industrial action.

 

Macron remains conscious of the legacy of the gilets jaunes (yellow vests) anti-government protest movement that erupted in 2018 from the ground up, without trade union leadership, taking the government by surprise. It is uncertain whether the anger at pension change and the cost of living could swell the current protests.

 

The pension changes still need to go through parliament, where Macron’s centrist grouping has lost its absolute majority. The government is hoping to pass the bill swiftly with the support of lawmakers from the rightwing Les Républicains.

 

The government says it wants to keep public spending in check. “This reform is necessary and fair,” the labour minister, Olivier Dussopt, told LCI TV.

 

The labour ministry estimates that pushing back the retirement age by two years and extending the paying-in period would bring an additional €17.7bn (£15.5bn) in pension contributions, allowing the system to break even by 2027.

 

Unions said ordinary workers would be hit and the changes were unfair.

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Good. Even those privileged by living *within* the Global North's borders are realizing that neoliberal hegemony has failed and only serves to continue extracting profit for the global elites in the 1%. 

 

Our planet is dying and these billionaires are making a mad dash to grab as much as possible. Gulag them!

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22 minutes ago, VOSS said:

raise the retirement age by two years to 64

these people want to retire at 62 with a stagnant economy and when they don’t even have enough kids to finance the social security Ponzi scheme? Talk about delusional

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raise the retirement age by two years to 64

Wait, I'm from France and I thought the retirement age was 65 :rip:

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i mean that's great and all but it's just going to be harder and harder to finance retirement their retirement plans already and that's just going to get worse every year :rip:

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2 hours ago, DUA LIPA said:

i mean that's great and all but it's just going to be harder and harder to finance retirement their retirement plans already and that's just going to get worse every year :rip:

+1 and it’s no shade 

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3 hours ago, DUA LIPA said:

it's just going to be harder and harder to finance retirement 

Sounds like the government must intervene via not in forcing people to work longer but by fining a way to somehow get all that money held by billionaires somehow back into society. But how... :confused:

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On 1/20/2023 at 5:55 AM, Communion said:

Sounds like the government must intervene via not in forcing people to work longer but by fining a way to somehow get all that money held by billionaires somehow back into society. But how... :confused:

The richest person in the world (Bernard Arnault) happens to be French and has a net worth of $180B

 

14% ($420B) of the total French GDP ($3T) is spent on pensions, so $35B per month

 

Therefore the world’s largest fortune could finance France’s pensions for a grand total of… *drumroll* …5 months

 

After that they’d protest again and burn a few more cars I guess

 

sources:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/karlsson/2023/01/02/the-worlds-richest-man-is-now-a-french-wine-producer/
https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2023-01-16/france-needs-macron-s-pension-reform-whether-retirees-like-it-or-not

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64 is a perfectly reasonable age limit :skull:

 

But it's France so they always have to do their lil protest thing

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1 hour ago, Gui Blackout said:

64 is a perfectly reasonable age limit :skull:

 

But it's France so they always have to do their lil protest thing

What would be your logical reason for raising it from 62 to 64?

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In Germany it's 67

 

Imagine working yourself until very close to casket age :rip: I'm so tired already working in my 30s :rip:

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I'm usually against neoliberal austerity but in this case, I think it's fair. 64 is a reasonable and normal retirement age, honestly still lower than average in the developed world. And the French spending on pensions is a bit nuts as a percentage of GDP.

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The French may be obscene in a lot of ways but one thing the people have is self respect. When will science bottle this ability and allow us to use the protest gene in other populations?

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Good for them. The UK needs to take notes.

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On 1/21/2023 at 10:05 AM, RunUpDoneUp said:

The French may be obscene in a lot of ways but one thing the people have is self respect. When will science bottle this ability and allow us to use the protest gene in other populations?

 Uh, WWII, babe. Let’s not. 

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The French? Protesting? Groundbreaking. 

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Our retirement age is currently 72 and expected to raise :deadbanana4:

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PARIS—To fight President Emmanuel Macron’s pension overhaul, France’s most militant labor union is pursuing a radical strategy: cutting electricity to his political supporters and the wealthy while handing out discounted power and gas to the public.

 

During a nationwide strike last week, members of the far-left CGT union who work in the energy sector cut power to the office of a lawmaker from Mr. Macron’s party for more than three hours. On Monday, CGT energy workers in Marseille manipulated electricity and gas meters to cut bills for bakers who were protesting in the French port city against high energy prices. CGT’s leadership called such moves a “Robin Hood” operation and said they would continue as the country prepares for another national protest on Tuesday.

 

“Strikes are good, but they’re no longer enough,” said Sébastien Menesplier, head of the CGT’s energy division. “We have to take actions that are visible and impact those who are supporting the government.”

 

Philippe Martinez, the CGT’s national leader, this week proposed cutting power to billionaires and singled out Vincent Bolloré, a French tycoon who owns a host of businesses, including CNews, a right-leaning 24-hour news channel. “They can put themselves into the position of millions of people who face energy poverty,” Mr. Martinez said.

 

CGT employees are increasingly using their positions in France’s energy sector to pressure the French government and big companies. The union’s workers occupy sensitive posts across the country’s energy infrastructure—from oil refineries and power grids to France’s fleet of nuclear reactors—allowing them to shut production or supply energy for free. The tactics have drawn outrage from the French government—and warnings that union members who use their positions to pressure lawmakers would face legal sanctions.

 

“It’s not the CGT who decides in France,” said Bruno Le Maire, the French finance minister. “It is the French people through their representatives.”

WSJ lol

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Among the facilities provided free energy were public sports facilities, daycare centers, public libraries, some small businesses and homes that had been cut off from power. 
 

The “Robin des Bois” operations – named after the English folk hero, Robin Hood – were part of a wider effort to force the government to drop plans to increase the retirement age in France. 

 

Providing free energy was intended to “intensify the balance of power” in favour of striking workers, said Philippe Martinez, secretary-general of the GGT, one of the largest confederations of trade unions in France. “[It’s about] returning energy to those who don’t have it at all because they can’t afford to, and making it free for hospitals and schools.” 

“The point of today’s protests is to show that the balance of power is moving up a notch and that, if we wanted to, we could paralyse the country,” said Gwenaël Plagne, CGT representative at a thermal power plant in Cordemais, western France.

 

More “Robin des Bois” operations are also likely. “If the government doesn’t retract its retirement reforms, we will continue and we will make energy free for everyone who doesn’t have access to regulated tariffs, whether they are public establishments or businesses,” Frédéric Probel, secretary general of the CGT in Bagneux, in the Paris suburbs, told FranceInfo on Friday.

 

He said in Paris and the city suburbs free energy was provided on Thursday for hospitals clinics, skating rinks, swimming pools, high schools, public buildings, street lighting and heating. “At least it is meaningful and it helps the public,” he added.

 

Plans to provide or cut power may also become more targeted. GCT Secretary-General Martinez denied on Wednesday that elected officials or specific individuals could have their power supply cut off – with some exceptions. “I would suggest that some billionaires who think that we don’t need to increase salaries and that everything is going well in this country could do with living the experience of millions of households who are facing energy insecurity,” he said.

x :clap3: 

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On 1/20/2023 at 6:55 AM, Communion said:

Sounds like the government must intervene via not in forcing people to work longer but by fining a way to somehow get all that money held by billionaires somehow back into society. But how... :confused:

:gaygacat5:Exactly eat the rich 

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On 1/26/2023 at 2:48 PM, Gesamtkunstwerk said:

Our retirement age is currently 72 and expected to raise :deadbanana4:

where omg

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as they should, sick of working harder and longer just so the rich can get richer. we have enough resources to allow people to retire at 62, eat the rich!

 

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On 1/24/2023 at 9:06 PM, Horizon Flame said:

 Uh, WWII, babe. Let’s not. 

What WWII has to do with it? Liberalism and the idea of freedom only exists because of the French. Losing a war doesn’t change anything, and they’re still the country that won the most wars. 

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