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OECD queries financing of French pension reform

FRANCE – With further strikes over pension reform planned, the Organisation for Economic Development and Cooperation has said that France’s proposals for financing the reforms are not enough to rescue the system.

Yesterday saw 350,000 civil servants protest over the proposed reforms which will see working life lengthened in order to be eligible for a full pension. Paris and Marseille are reported as having seen the greatest disruption to hospitals, schools and electricity provision.

The FDT and CFE-CGC unions approved the pension reform last week, but five other unions are planning a day of national protest for May 25.

Yesterday at an OECD meeting on pensions, however, doubts that France’s proposals would be sufficient to finance the reform were expressed.

Martine Durand, deputy director of labour and social affairs at the OECD, explained to IPE today: “The French pension reform is going in the right direction. The measures proposed for the financing of the pension system are also going in the right direction, but they are not sufficient.”

But added Durand: “You have to start somewhere, and can make improvements over time. Sweden, for example, has its social partners review the pension situation every five years. It is difficult, however, to see how France could do more at the moment.”

The French council of ministers will announce its decision on the reforms May 28. The final bill is expected to be passed in mid-July.


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