Recent strikes in France have demonstrated the severity of discontent with regard to the government’s economic reform plans. It’s rare to find solidarity among the French trade unions. Surveys show that the majority of French people are opposed to the changes. The changes are likely to impact the country’s living costs. The demonstrations will take place across France on Thursday however, the outcomes are unknown the Dr Helena Ivanov from the Henry Jackson Society thinks that the protests might force President Macron to reconsider his policies. Macron’s plans to cut the pension system and to freeze wages along with lower employment security has caused a lot of unrest within the French.
1. What type of reforms is the French President Macron seeking to implement?
Macron is working on reforming France’s pension system, with a particular emphasis on sustainability over the long term. The reforms proposed would create a system that is universally based on points, with the amount of pension benefits and contribution would be the same to all people, regardless of profession or income. The system will take over the existing system of 42 different pension schemes, which are based on the job of the person. A higher retirement age would be feasible under the new system since those who are 64 years old are now eligible for full pension. In addition, the reform package includes steps to reduce the amount of deductions and allowances that are in place.
2. Which polls show public attitudes about Macron’s reforms?
Surveys suggest that people’s perception of Macron’s pension reforms are largely negative. In a recent survey conducted by French polling company Ifop, the majority of the respondents voiced their dislike of Macron’s pension plans. Results from the survey showed 59% dissatisfaction with reforms and only 32% favored them. This is in line with previous research into public opinion since the reforms were announced which indicates that the majority of French people are not happy with the proposed pension changes. The strong disapproval of the reforms may be attributed to the fact that a large portion of people feel the plans would be extremely complex, and place an unjust burden on citizens.
3. How is the Henry Jackson Society’s Dr Helena Ivanov expecting the public demonstrations to go?
The news of French Macron’s proposal for reforms to pensions have created an outrage in the French public, leading to the possibility of a possible “Frexit’ from France’s membership in the European Union. To address these issues the Professor Helena Ivanov of the Henry Jackson Society is expressing her hopes for the public protests surrounding Macron’s proposed reforms. Dr Ivanov is of the opinion that the demonstrations are likely to be massive and long-lasting that indicate a substantial level of public discontent and a risk of further disturbances or instability for the political system in the very near future. Dr Ivanov also believes they could potentially lead to the end of the current administration, as well as potentially result in a “Frexit” when Macron persists in pursuing his pension reforms.
4. What unions can be expected to be involved in the Paris gathering?
France is furious over the proposed French pension reforms under President Emmanuel Macron. There are demands for a referendum over the exit of in the European Union called “Frexit”. The idea has resulted in several protests across France including the largest demonstration scheduled to be held in Paris on Saturday. Unions representing all sectors, including the CGT union, French Democratic Confederation of Labour, Force Ouvriere, Solidaires, FSU and CFE-CGC are expected to be involved in the Paris demonstration. This will be the largest protest against Macron’s pension reforms and will likely draw the many who have been seeking a Frexit referendum.
A Short Summary
In the end, this massive strike that has taken place in France shows an increasing resentment among workers towards the proposed pension changes and the tension they’re experiencing due to the present economic conditions. As labor unions in other nations unite to lead the workers in opposition to similar adjustments, Europe is being gripped by an influx of protests by workers as a means of requesting higher wages and better conditions. By leading their workers to the streets in large numbers, unions send a strong message that they will not be satisfied with anything less than fair wage, conditions and benefits. The strike had a huge economic impact, despite efforts to minimize their effects from authorities from French government. This will only continue with more countries joining the struggle for fairness.