Retirement Age at 62 Becomes Law in France

The retirement age change officially became law in France this week, despite numerous strikes and protests.
Retirement Age at 62 Becomes Law in France
People demonstrate on June 24, 2010 in Paris, during a nationwide day of strike called by unions to protest against the pension overhaul. The bill raising the retirement age from 60 to 62 is due to be voted on in September. (Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images)
The retirement age-change officially became law in France, this week, despite numerous strikes and protests held in the past several weeks over the austere measure, according to the Associated Press.

President Nicolas Sarkozy signed the law and it was put into France’s official journal.

"[I am] fully aware that this is a difficult reform," he said, according to AP. "But I always considered that my duty and the duty of the government was to carry it out."

Sarkozy argued that raising the minimum age was needed due to larger numbers of people receiving pensions. This means that to receive a full pension, a French worker will have to retire at 67 instead of 65.

France’s constitutional watchdog said on Tuesday that the bill raising the age is legal and is in accord with the country’s constitution.

The opposition socialist party has opposed Sarkozy’s measures and, while the bill was being evaluated, unions held numerous strikes, protests, and riots throughout the country, according to the BBC.

On Saturday, a 22-year-old student demonstrator in Lyon told the BBC that the protests were against Sarkozy as well as the pension bill.

"I'm here against the pension reform, but I am also against the dictatorial methods of all the government reforms," she told BBC.

"He does not listen to people," she added.
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