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Protests over retirement age hit France

Government plans to raise retirement age from 60 to 62 spark widespread protests.

Protesters in Paris last week
Protesters in Paris last week
Image: AP Photo/Thibault Camus

PROTESTS OVER THE raising of the retirement age from 60 to 62 will be held in several French cities today.

Students will be at the forefront of the protests as they voice their concerns about rising youth unemployment. Even with the retirement age at 62- the French would  still have the lowest in Europe.

Trade unions have called for more than 200 protests nationwide in the fifth day of protests. Blockades and walkouts have hampered fuel supplies at airports, prompting the Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau to authorise oil companies to use reserves.

Minister for Finance Christine Lagarde moved to allay fears though, saying that there would be enough fuel while speaking on RTL.

“We have reserves. People mustn’t panic.”

Union leaders reacted angrily to government accusations that their blockades were hampering the country.

“The French understand that those who are blocking this country are at the head of the government,” CFDT union leader Francois Chereque said on BFM-TV.

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