French MEP Jordan Bardella, the vice-president of the rightwing National Rally celebration led by Marine Le Pen, accused Emmanuel Macron on Sunday of destroying the nation’s “social heritage” as he slammed the president’s “unfair” pension reform plans. “Emmanuel Macron is unravelling our social heritage,” M Bardella mentioned in a joint interview with RTL radio, LCI tv and Le Figaro each day, earlier than calling for a referendum on the controversial reform.
The president “is not interested in protecting the interests of the French,” the rightwing politician continued.
M Bardella added: “The government is forcing through a project that has been rejected by the French.”
He additionally described the pension reform as “extremely unfair”.
“The French have understood that the pension overhaul is unjustified, unfair and will force people to work longer for less,” he wrote on Twitter later within the day.
Crippling transport strikes towards the pension modifications have been ongoing since December 5, upsetting journey plans and hitting retailers and companies over the important thing Christmas interval.
But a brand new ballot by Ifop revealed Sunday in Le Journal du Dimanche (JDD) newspaper confirmed that 44 p.c of French folks nonetheless assist the strike motion.
Labour leaders have, for his or her half, urged residents to participate in recent mass demonstrations towards the pension reform on January 9.
M Macron insists that his reforms are wanted to simplify the pricey and convoluted pension system, however his opponents and unions argue they’ll pressure scores of French folks to work for longer and scale back advantages.
The authorities needs to merge the nation’s 42 separate pension schemes right into a single, points-based system underneath which for every euro contributed, each pensioner would have equal rights.
The reform would additionally set a “pivot age” of 64 at which retirees would profit from a full pension, although they might nonetheless legally go away at 62 – the official retirement age, a change unionists are fiercely against.
Unions have threatened to step up their protests until M Macron withdraws the reform.
But the centrist authorities has stood its floor and repeatedly rejected calls to drop the reform altogether.
M Macron vowed final week to press forward along with his overhaul of the pension system regardless of the nationwide strikes.
In a televised tackle on New Year’s Eve, he mentioned: “The retirement reform that I’ve committed myself to before you will be carried through because it is a project of social justice and progress.”
M Macron added that he anticipated his authorities to rapidly discover a compromise with union leaders on the reform, however with out departing from the rules laid out by ministers.
His speech was slammed by the chief of CGT union Philippe Martinez, who mentioned he “did not see anything new in the government’s position”.
“The alarm signal needs to be louder. We need strikes everywhere,” M Martinez advised the information channel BFM TV.
• The Ifop ballot of 1,005 folks aged 18 and over was carried out on-line on January 2-3.