Cradle to Grave Socialism Hitting Snags Everywhere

The French government and labor unions held their ground over President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plan to raise the retirement age after the second national protest against the proposal this month. Labor Minister Eric Woerth said there were fewer strikers today than in a Sept. 7 demonstration, a sign of declining opposition. Unions claimed more protesters and said the movement will continue. “There is a deceleration of the protests,” Woerth said on France 2 television. “There were fewer demonstrations, fewer strikers. These measures will be voted in parliament, and they will be enacted.” The National Assembly last week passed Sarkozy’s pension bill, which raises the minimum retirement age to 62 from 60 and the age for a full pension to 67 from 65. The bill is headed to the Senate. Unions want the retirement age to remain at 60.
Nicolas Sarkozy
Sarkozy’s government says it has already made concessions and won’t bow to demands to scrap the increase. Nationwide, police said 997,000 people marched in more than 200 demonstrations, down from 1.1 million two weeks ago. Unions said 3 million people marched, up from 2.7 million. “If the government continues in its intransigence, then we will enter a standoff,” said Bernard Thibault, head of the CGT, France’s largest union. “This government is not listening.” Unions meet tomorrow to decide whether to call further protests. Read more here:



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