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French senate passes pension reform bill

10-23-2010 08:14 BJT

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After a long and protracted debate, the French upper house of parliament has passed the highly controversial pension reform bill, to raise the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62.

Arguments between Nicolas Sarkozy's Conservative UMP and the opposition Socialist Party have dogged negotiations over the past three weeks.

Legislators - mostly opposition Socialists - submitted a staggering 1,237 amendments. But Sarkozy's conservative UMP party and its allies have a majority, and dismissed nearly all of them.

In the end, 177 voted for the bill against 153 opposing votes. The pension reform bill must now return to the National Assembly for fresh consultation, before it becomes law.

Eric Woerth, French Labor Minister, said, "The workers' unions participated in this dialogue. We took on ideas from the union proposals to elaborate this law, regarding physically demanding jobs. It is a democratic process inside the National Assembly and the Senate which has passed this law."

The clause to raise the legal minimum retirement age to 62, and the full pension age from 65 to 67, will take effect by year 2018.

The text now goes to a committee of seven senators and lower house lawmakers on Monday. They will try to reach agreement on remaining differences, before returning the bill to both houses for a final vote sometime next week.

Labor unions backed by opposition parties, have announced that further strikes and demonstrations will be held on October 28th and November 6th.


Editor:Zhang Pengfei |Source: CNTV.CN

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