The French Minister of Labor, Olivier Dussopt, justifies his controversial pension reform, against which a new day of strikes and demonstrations is being prepared next Tuesday, using as an example the situation in Spain with a left-wing government.
In an interview published today by Le Parisien, Dussopt – a former socialist who switched to the party of French President Emmanuel Macron – defends himself against criticism of carrying out a right-wing reform, whose central axis is to delay the minimum retirement age from 62 years currently to 64.
In the first place, he affirms that the last pension reform in France was made by the left during the presidency of the socialist François Hollande (2012-2017) and consisted of increasing the contribution period necessary to collect the full pension from 41 to 43 years, which “constitutes a machine of reduced pensions”.
He then notes that when one looks at France’s neighbouring countries, ‘all’ have set the retirement age at 66 or 67.
That’s when he refers to Spain, which “has a social democratic government and a communist labor minister,” alluding to Yolanda Díaz.
“The retirement age – he adds in his argument with the Spanish example – has been set at 67 years for pensions well below ours.”
Beyond raising the minimum retirement age to 64, Dussopt’s plan is to maintain at 43 the years necessary for a full pension or, failing that, retire at age 67 to avoid penalty.
The pension reform is now being debated in the Senate, after having been examined at first reading in the National Assembly during February, and is against all trade unions, as well as all left-wing parties and Marine Le Pen’s extreme right.
An Ifop poll published this Sunday by Le Journal du Dimanche once again confirms that public opinion is still very opposed to the reform: 68% of those questioned reject it, while 32% declare themselves in favor.
The unions intend to “stop the country” next Tuesday with a mobilization that will seriously disrupt public transport, from planes to trains, through urban transport in many cities and even the circulation of roads with blockades at strategic points of trucks.
Dussopt insists that the reform “is necessary and urgent for the balance of the system in 2030”, and that if it is not carried out and things remain the same, in the next ten years pensions will accumulate a deficit of 150,000 million euros and that will lead to “a fall in the standard of living of retirees”.
Some plants intend that March 7 will be the beginning of a strike that will continue in the following days in different sectors of activity.