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France: Sarkozy Protests Draw Big Numbers …

  • September 8th, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

strike-fr-7910.jpegHuge numbers turned out for the day of strikes and demonstrations in France, 7.9.10, over legislation now before parliament to cut the retirement age from 62 to 60.

Unions hailed the protest as the largest in ten years, counting up to 2.5-million  on the streets; official figures started at one-million or more; Le Monde reported that by the middle of the day the numbers were equalling the turn-out at earlier protests on 24.6.10.

Impacts of the protest were strongest in the transport sector, though the Paris Metro was less affected than on previous occasions; some one-third of teachers were believed to have walked out for the day.

France’s contributory retirement system that enables workers to begin drawing down on their accounts at 60, forms part of a comprehensive system of guaranteed benefits.

The moves to scale it down, by President Nicolas Sarkozy, would get into step with austerity budgeting in other large European countries, notably Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The President’s stocks are low in opinion polls, but he has maintained a combative stance across issues; most recently, sending police to close down encampments of Roma, the gypsies, and send non-French nationals back to home countries, as Romania.


France 24, International News; Paris. “Unions hail huge turnout at pensions protest”., (8.9.10).


Le Monde, Paris, “Suivez la journée de mobilisation contre la réforme des retraites en direct” (Follow the day of mobilisation against the retirement reforms, live), 7.9.10., (8.9.10).