(MENAFN- Trend News Agency) French President Emmanuel Macron said on Wednesday that his
government's controversial pension reform plan should become law
"before the end of the year", trend reports citing xinhua
However, he added that he hoped to renew dialogues with trade
unions, in order to ease tensions.
Macron said in a televised interview that the text for the
pension reform, which is now due to be examined by the
Constitutional Council, "will continue its democratic process."
He added: "This reform is not a luxury, it is not a pleasure, it
is a necessity."
His only regret, he said, was that he had failed to convince the
population of the need for the reform, which he claimed will
"balance" the pension system in the future.
There are around 17 million retirees in France, and this number
is set to reach 30 million by 2030.
Last Thursday, French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne triggered
an article of the country's Constitution that allows the government
to force passage of the pension reform bill without a vote in the
The move led to outrage among deputies, as well as people living
and working in France.
Subsequently, two motions of no confidence in the government
were submitted. Although these provoked tense debates in the
National Assembly, they did not lead to a majority, and political
parties are more divided than ever in France.
Since last Thursday, spontaneous protests have also broken out
across the country, with police deploying water cannons and tear
gas to disperse demonstrators. Many protestors and NGOs have
denounced what they have called an "excessive" use of force and
"abusive" arrests by French police.
On Wednesday, French Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti asked
prosecutors for "a systematic and rapid criminal response" to
protestors arrested during the demonstrations, for "serious
disturbances to public order."
To ease the tensions, Macron said in Wednesday's interview: "We
have to move on. We must appease, and we must rebuild a
parliamentary agenda and reforms by re-engaging in a dialogue with
the unions and all the political forces that are ready to do
France's largest union, the General Confederation of Labor
(CGT), has already called for mass participation in strikes and
demonstrations on March 23.
Meanwhile, the CGT's culture section refused to serve a visit by
the United Kingdom's King Charles III on Sunday.
The French Prime Minister laid out details of the pension reform
plan in January, under which the legal retirement age would be
progressively raised by three months a year from 62 to 64 by 2030,
and a guaranteed minimum pension would be introduced.
Under the plan, as of 2027 at least 43 years of work would be
required to be eligible for a full pension.