On February 1, 2023, the French Labour Minister, Oliver Dussopt, declared that the increase in retirement age to 64 is unalterable. This statement came after over a million individuals took part in protests against the proposed measure, with a union representative calling for continued strikes.
According to opinion polls, a significant majority in France opposes the plan to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64, which President Emmanuel Macron deems necessary for the sustainability of the pension system.
On January 31, 2023, 1.272 million individuals participated in nationwide protests, a slight increase from the first demonstration on January 19, according to the Interior Ministry.
Dussopt emphasised in an interview with France 2 Television that the goal of ensuring the financial stability of the pension system cannot be compromised and stated, “What is not up for debate is the aim of reaching financial stability, and for that to happen, we need to increase the retirement age to 64.”
Philippe Martinez, the leader of the hard-left CGT Union, called for further industrial action, accusing the government of underestimating the resistance to the reform. However, for the unions, maintaining the strikes may prove challenging, especially considering the current high rate of inflation that is eating into salaries.
Union representatives held a joint press conference at the conclusion of the march on Tuesday, announcing plans for more strikes and demonstrations against the reform on February 7th and 11th.
The 7th is a Tuesday, while the 11th falls on a Saturday when most people have the day off work.
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