France to unveil pension reform bill amid pressure

12:04, June 16, 2010      

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy, Prime Minister Francois Fillon and Labor Minister Eric Woerth held their last meeting at the Elysee Palace on Tuesday night, hoping to finally fix details of several pending issues regarding the pension reform.

Whether to prolong the statutory retirement age to 62 or 63, the result will be announced Wednesday morning.

According to the different demographic scales used to calculate the eligible pension age, there will be two choices: 62 at 2020 and 63 at 2025, or 62 at 2018 and 63 at 2022.

The exceptionally contribution from high-income earner and capital income, which is designed to bring new financing resource to government budget is another unsettled issue.

A 2-point raise on revenue tax of around 350,000 rich households would bring in 110 million euros (135 million U.S. dollars) for French treasury.

In response to the unrest public feeling against the reform and pressure of huge deficit, the French government today made some gestures to express its determination of pushing forward the pension reform by denouncing a privileged pension system for senior government officers.

The ancient Housing Minister Christine Boutin was the first retired official that bore the brunt. French newspaper Le Canard Enchaine disclosed Monday that she enjoys a double pension benefits for being former minister and a member of parliament and thus in total, she receives 17,500 euros (21,573 dollars) per month from the state.

Both Fillion and Parliament leader announced Tuesday the double cumulative system has too many advantages comparing to the general pension scheme, and should be changed.

"I hope it will be revised, removed," the National Assembly President Bernard Accoyer voiced on Europe 1.

Nevertheless, Workers' Force went ahead a manifestation on the day against government reform. Bernard Thibault, a leader of labor union CGT said that "everything will depend on the degree of reaction of public employees" before the review taken by the Council of Ministers in early July.

The final bill will be examined by ministers on July 13, and then subject to the approval of the Parliament in September.

Source: Xinhua


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