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26 Oct, 2010 18:21

French strikes costing country $500 million a day

Students across France are staging fresh protests against an unpopular overhaul of the pension system, following the French Senate’s approval of a controversial pension reform bill.

Despite the nationwide strikes, which are costing the country's economy over half a billion dollars a day, labor unions remain defiant and have already announced that more protests are planned.

Hundreds of people continued their protests on the streets of Paris, demanding change from the current government. All of their slogans are somehow directed at the French president, Nicolas Sarkozy.

The French people insist that the new pension bill, prolonging the retirement age to 62, is a violation of “their given and earned right” to retire at the age of 60.

The protest wave has arisen despite the fact that France enjoys one of the lowest retirement ages, having at the same time a huge foreign debt, the fourth largest in the world.

The pension reform is supposed to help the French economy get over the effects of the global financial crisis. However, to the French people it looks like nothing but a government attempt to ensure that they stay in their jobs longer and get paid less.

The French are planning a nationwide protest to take place on Thursday, but even now, with the student holidays, hundreds of young people are taking to the streets of Paris, making sure that their disappointment is well heard by the rest of the world.