Workers in France striking to defend their retirements
(May 27, 2010) French President Nicolas Sarkozy, in an effort to reduce France’s budget deficit is planning to raise the retirement age by 1-3 years from 60, and to extend the required pension contribution period. He has said that pushing up the retirement age would be his government’s key reform for this year.
“Many people are furious that Mr Sarkozy said there was no money left to raise wages and consumer spending power, but nonetheless managed to find billions of euros to bail out floundering French banks, says the BBC’s Emma-Jane Kirby in Paris.”
Worker protests in France come only weeks after Greek workers protested violently to hold on to their retirements. In both cases, governments in Athens and Paris decided to sacrifice their citizens retirements, to placate and payoff bankers.
Meanwhile, over here in the United States, the Obama administration is openly planning to reduce the deficit by reducing retirement benefits, hundreds of thousands of state and local government workers are being laid off, those that remain are being forced to give up their pensions, and there are no significant protests, marches, or strikes, while bailed-out bankers enjoy billion dollar bonuses. Why?
Update: June27, 2010 – At least a million French students took to the streets this weekend to protest Sarkozy’s plans to raise the retirement age in France. Full Story. Meanwhile, American workers and students sit idly bye, as their retirements get twittered away.