The French Senate votes to raise the retirement age to 64

  • French senators voted Thursday in favor of raising the legal retirement age in the country to 64, from 62 previously.
  • It marked the first victory for President Emmanoli Macron, whose plans to overhaul the pension system have led to a nationwide industrial strike.
  • The French Senate has yet to review the remaining articles of the reform bill.

Demonstrators hold a banner during a demonstration against the French government’s pension reform plan in Paris as part of a day of national strike and protests in France, January 31, 2023.

Gonzalo Fuentes | Reuters

French senators voted early Thursday to raise the legal retirement age from 62 to 64, the first win for President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform plans that have sparked protests and strikes across the country.

Two hundred and one senators in the Senate, which is controlled by the conservative Republican Party, voted in favor of the key Article 7 reform related to the retirement age, while 115 voted against it.

The French Senate is expected to approve the remaining provisions of the reform bill later this week. It will then be brought before a mediation committee between deputies from the upper house and the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament, next week.

The latter was unable to discuss Article 7 of the law during a tense 15-day debate marred by insults and ridicule.

The government hopes parliament will adopt the pension changes by the end of the month.

But Macron lacks an outright majority in the National Assembly and would need to win over dozens of conservative lawmakers or use his constitutional powers to bypass parliament.

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