The French government’s plans to reform the national pension system have been met by widespread protest.
Elisabeth Borne, France’s prime minister, unveiled plans to raise the minimum age required to claim benefits from the Caisse Nationale d’Assurance Vieillesse from 62 to 64 by 2030. In addition, the government proposed that claimants will be required to be 67 or to have worked for 43 years in order to gain a full pension.
In a press conference, Bourne said the changes were necessary because French people were living longer lives, making the CNAV’s costs unsustainable. “By 2030, our system will be financially balanced.”
In response to the announcement, the country’s eight largest labour unions announced a national day of strikes and protests on Jan. 19. A heated debate in parliament is also expected in the next month with most left-wing parties expressing opposition to the reforms.
The move is backed by the governing alliance of centrist parties and Emmanuel Macron, France’s president. It’s also supported by the right-wing Groupe de l’Union pour un mouvement populaire. Together, the political block falls short of a majority. For the measures to pass, the government will require support from at least 11 more legislators.
If it fails to secure enough support in France’s lower house, the government could ensure its passage through controversial powers allotted to the president. In 2020, Macron backtracked on similar plans after they sparked nationwide strikes and protests that occurred during the coronavirus pandemic.