Macron's reform agenda will be tested
The French government may be ''very determined" to push ahead with its pensions reforms, but the people have other ideas. Reforms are good but should not come at the expense of ordinary citizens who struggle to make a living.
Prime Minister Edouard Philippe's determination go ahead with the reforms smacks of arrogance as the strike enters the second day. Tiring out protesters will fail as they have nothing to lose.
The French "know that little by little we will have to work a bit longer," the PM said, vowing to bring France in line with "other comparable countries". This could be biggest test of the Macron presidency, even bigger than the Yellow Vests protests earlier this year.
Working with trade unions to introduce a single points-based pension scheme for all, a move that involves scrapping the 42 more advantageous plans currently enjoyed by train drivers, soldiers, lawyers and a host of other professions may be acceptable to some workers but not to all
The public sector is not bad if run well. People have a right to "with a little bit more (money) and far earlier than others" than others, some of whom may be doing the same job.
Al trains and Paris metro services have been cancelled over the past two days and large numbers of schools have been closed, in the opening salvo of an open-ended strike that could severely test Macron's reform agenda.
- Fleur Chapman, Dubai
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