The French Senate votes to raise the retirement age to 64

  • French senators voted 201 to 115 on Thursday to raise the country’s statutory retirement age to 64, from 62 previously.
  • This is a first victory for President Emmanule Macron, whose pension reform plans have led to nationwide industrial action.
  • The French upper house has yet to review the remaining articles of the reform bill.

Protesters hold a banner during a demonstration against the French government’s pension reform plan in Paris as part of a day of national strike and protests in France, January 31, 2023.

Gonzalo Fuentes | Reuters

French senators voted early on Thursday to raise the legal retirement age from 62 to 64, a first victory for President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reform plans, which have sparked protests and strikes across the country.

Two hundred and one members of the Senate, dominated by the conservative party Les Republicains, voted in favor of Article 7 of the reform on the retirement age, while 115 voted against.

France’s upper house is expected to approve the remaining articles of the reform bill later this week. Then next week it will be submitted to a mediation committee between legislators from the Senate and the National Assembly, the House of Representatives.

The latter had been unable to discuss Article 7 of the law during a 15-day tense debate marred by insults and jeers.

The government hopes that the pension changes will be passed by parliament at the end of this month.

But Macron lacks an outright majority in the National Assembly and will have to win over a few dozen conservative lawmakers or use his constitutional powers to bypass parliament.

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