Monday, 18 October 2010
You have to love the French. They take the running of their government seriously, and seem to be protesting about one thing or another almost constantly. This time around, it’s pensions. The lower house of the French government has voted to change the age of retirement from 60 to 62 and the age at which you can claim a full state pension from 65 to 67. To those of us in the UK, who can now work until we are no longer physically able to, this seems like an unheard of luxury. Retiring at 62?? Getting anything even remotely livable from a state pension?? Crazy stuff to be protesting over, surely?!
However, I love the French spirit of resisting these changes and making your voice heard. The protesters flooded the streets of all the major French cities, with those in Paris even occupying the Opera House at the Bastille for a short time! Vive la Resistance indeed. Although I think that the turning of the protests to ransacking cafes and setting bins on fire undermined the aim of the actions, and will only serve to increase the chances of the legislation being passed in the upper house.
I can’t comment on the repercussions for the French population if the retirement/pension age is raised, but I hope that the protesting spirit doesn’t die out, as it sadly seems to be withering away in the UK.