Saturday, October 16, 2010

French workers strike against pension reform

PARIS, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Nearly a million French people took to the street on Saturday to start a new round of protest against President Nicolas Sarkozy\'s plan to raise the retirement age.

The Interior Ministry estimated some 825,000 people marched in cities across France, calling for the right to retire at 60.

The largest crowds gathered in Paris, mainly blaring music and chanting. Around 30 people were arrested in central Paris for setting rubbish bins on fire and throwing smoke grenades. In Marseille, people blocked schools and public transport.

France\'s upper house of parliament has already voted to prolong the retirement age from 60 to 62 years old. On Monday, it approved increasing the full-pension age regardless of contribution period to 67 from the present 65.

Fuel supplies of all France\'s 12 refineries were hit since refinery workers joined the nationwide demonstration called by trade unions last Tuesday and fearful motorists rushed to pump oil.

The government asked some flights landing in France to bring with enough fuel to return home as possible fuel shortages may occur in France\'s main airports after this new round of protest.

Unions warned that the strike will affect more businesses and the sixth round of nationwide protest will start Tuesday, a day before the Senate votes on the retirement bill.


Further action promised as France hit by pension reform protests

PARIS, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Millions of French people took to the streets Tuesday for the fourth major wave of protests in a month over the government\'s pension reform and opponents have promised more is to come.

Following general strikes in railways, airports, schools, docks and postal systems, the earliest of which kicked off late Monday, French public transport, especially for core cities such as Paris, was heavily hit. Full story

French government set to approve pension reforms despite protests

PARIS, Oct. 8 (Xinhua) -- The French government would push ahead with its pension reform, expected to be approved this month, despite major protests, local media reported Friday.

\"It\'s clear, the government won\'t move over the core of the reform which is the rise of the retirement age to 62 years old,\" Raymond Soubie, Elysee social councilor told RTL radio

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