French President Emmanuel Macron sticks to the planned pension reform despite the weeks-long strikes. In his traditional New Year’s speech on French television, he said he hoped for a quick compromise with the unions without departing from the broad outline of the reform. “The revision of the pension system is coming to an end because it is a social justice and progress project,” said Macron.

The head of state assured critics of the pension reform that those who do hard work should continue to have the opportunity to stop earlier. Macron has so far refused to rethink plans to raise the age from 62 to 64 in the future.

According to his previous plans, workers would receive a reduced pension if they retired 64 years ago, unless they benefit from special regulations based on their profession, such as police officers or soldiers. Left-wing leader Jean-Luc Melenchon wrote on Twitter that Macron’s words were “a declaration of war on those who oppose the reform.”

Macron wants to simplify France’s outdated pension system, which includes more than 40 different pension funds. The retirement age and pension benefits vary. For example, railway employees can retire much earlier than other employees. Macron considers the system to be unfair and too expensive. He wants to switch to pension points that should apply equally to all French. (Reuters)

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