French unions plan 5th day of protests against pension reform

PARIS, Feb. 8 (Xinhua) -- The CGT, France's largest union, is planning a new day of nationwide demonstrations against the government's planned pension reform on Feb. 16.

The announcement came on the heels of Tuesday's general mobilization, which brought together an estimated 757,000 people to demand that the government drop its reform plans.

On Tuesday, striking public sector workers also disrupted the country's transport, electricity and local services.

On Tuesday evening, after nationwide demonstrations, several unions called on "the entire population to demonstrate even more massively on Saturday, Feb. 11, throughout the territory to say no to this reform."

As the country's National Assembly (Parliament) started debating the fiercely contested pension bill on Tuesday, the unions vowed to increase pressure on the deputies.

The National Assembly is expected to complete the first reading of the bill by the self-imposed deadline of Feb. 17 -- one day after the fifth day of general mobilization.

On Jan. 10, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne laid out details of the plan, which would progressively raise the legal retirement age by three months a year from 62 to 64 by 2030, and introduce a guaranteed minimum pension.

Starting in 2027, the plan would also require at least 43 years of work to be eligible for a full pension.

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