Will Macron’s Compromise on Pension Plan Mellow Protests in France?

The idea to mold pension plan in France began with a single line definition that demanded a single point-based system, which works as per the 21st century standards. However, more than 40 days since the first wave of disruption against the move, the pace of life in Paris has still not restored to normal.

In quest for which, the French President has finally made a strategic sacrifice, taking the step to make 64 years of age the baseline for availing full retirement benefits.

Pension plan plays a pivotal role in the nation and even the previous governments have kneeled down in front of the opposition to mend the plan. Macron’s government, which successfully resisted staging against tax cuts, had to kneel down this time.

It is expected that the latest initiative will help settle the 40-day-long chaos, yet Macron’s aim to merge 42 separate regimes into a single universal points-based program might never be completely implemented.

“Everyone has moved, but balancing the budget, the principle of it and the means to get to it, that’s not negotiable,” Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on France 2 television on Sunday.

In his letter to unions on Saturday, Philippe set out plans for a conference with stakeholders to showcase the way to finance the nation’s depleting retirement system, in return for “provisionally” dropping the pivot age. Besides, he also warned that if the sides fail to reach an agreement, the government will issue new rules by decree to introduce the financing of the system into balance by 2027.

In Paris, amongst the services most affected due to protests against pension plan, is the nation’s public transport, which showcased early signs of improvement, as some union leaders entirely embraced the plan.

President of France has been on a mission to introduce reforms since he became in charge of the position. But in this face of change, people have continuously questioned Macron’s doctrine and billed majority of his schemes as unsatisfactory.

In the present scenario, Macron’s pension reform didn’t commence with a flyer because of the inclusion of pivot age. The turn of events also saw even CFDT union –one of the five major French confederations of trade unions- joining demonstrations against the move, which further invited huge mobs to push against the government.

Early to say whether the deadlock has been broken or not, but initial signs commit complete peace and prosperity in the coming days. Ironically though, the fact remains that despite economic stagnation in France, people are not willing to understand how controlling expenditure will boost their economy in return.

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