EU Australia Online - News & information from the capital of Europe direct to Australian businesses

French Government Pushes Through Pensions Vote – Wonders If Strikes Will Now Stop …

  • October 23rd, 2010
  • Posted by EUEditor

france-strikes-2010-socialist-aotearoa.jpgThe French Senate on Friday (22.10.10) went to a vote, brought on by a government procedural motion, to approve the bitterly contested pensions legislation – 177 votes to 153.

The government is expected to finalise procedures on the legislation and put it into law in a week.

It will extend the age for drawing down on pension rights from 60 to 62;  with related changes a key part of the austerity program invoked by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Government leaders said the pensions change was necessary because the economy, with a heavy burden of state indebtedness, could not afford current levels of expenditure.

They have called for an end to demonstrations against their actions, saying that otherwise, business and the economy would take damage, and jobs would be lost

Leaders of the Socialist Party Opposition said the public had shown its rejection of the government’s propositions, through the vote in parliament and protracted demonstrations against the legislation — and later it would act through the ballot box.

Unions which have been organising protests say they have not finished with the campaign against the government and its economic policies.

As the senate vote was being taken the Gendarmerie was sent into two oil refineries, to break blockades by strikers who had occupied them, confronting lines of workers in the streets.

Strikes have hit transport industries and fuel supplies especially, intensifying over the last week, with at least one million involved in protests, including clashes with riot police in Paris and Lyons.


Kim Willsher, “French pension reform vote passed by parliament”, The Guardian, Manchester, 22.10.10., (23.10.10).

Dave Clark, “French Senate defies strikes to pass pensions reform”, AFP, Paris, 22.10.10., (23.10.10).

Picture   socialistaotaroa