On Wednesday evening, March 8, 2023, the French Senate, which is dominated by the right, approved a key article in a project to amend the pension system, which provides for raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 years, following an intense procedural battle with the left.
201 members voted in favor of raising the retirement age, compared to 115 members who voted against it.
Immediately after the vote, Prime Minister Elizabeth Borne expressed her “delight” at the approval of the amendment, stressing in a tweet on Twitter that this reform is “balanced and fair”.
The session witnessed a sharp exchange between the left-wing opposition and the ruling right.
Socialist Senator Monique Le Pen told Labor Minister Olivier Dussault, “Your name will forever be associated with a reform that will take us back nearly 40 years.”
And the majority in the Senate accelerated the pace of approval of this reform before the deadline expired at midnight on Sunday.
The Council intends to resume discussion on the rest of the articles of this amendment on Thursday.
The approval of this article comes in the wake of mass demonstrations that took place in France, in which 1.28 million people participated, according to the Ministry of the Interior, and 3.5 million according to the General Labor Union, in protest against the reform of the retirement system in France.
France’s retirement age is among the lowest of all European countries.
The draft law provides for gradually raising the legal retirement age from 62 to 64 years, by 3 months annually, as of September 1, 2023, until 2030.
It also provides for an increase in the period of required contributions to social security from 42 years to 43 years in order for the retiree to receive his full retirement pension, that is, without any deductions.
The government is counting on this reform to ensure the financing of the social security system, which is one of the pillars of the French social model.
Frequent opinion polls show that a large majority of the French oppose this reform, although they expect it to be approved in the end.
It is expected, according to the government’s plan, that the French parliament, in both chambers, will approve this reform by March 16.