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Retirement: According to Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault, French Will Have to Make an Effort

Translated Monday 17 June 2013, by Gene Zbikowski

“There will be an effort that will have to be made, but this effort will not be crushing,” the Prime Minister said on June 14, in attempting to reassure the French after receiving the Moreau report on retirement.

And yet, there’s enough to worry both retirees and active workers, considering the way the head of government welcomed the report, which recommends nothing less than severely lengthening the dues-paying period, lowering pensions, and ratcheting down civil service retirement schemes to bring them in line with private sector schemes, so as to realize 7 billion euros in savings, mainly on the backs of individuals.

In a speech from his official residence, Jean-Marc Ayrault hailed a report that he described as “rich, dense, useful, and above all very lucid.” It is on this report that the negotiations between the trade unions and the bosses’ representatives will be based. The negotiations will begin at a social conference on June 20 and 21.

Courage and lucidity

Moreover, the prime minister made use of his austerity-tinged vocabulary, calling for “courage” and “efficiency,” and explaining that there was a “duty to tell the truth.” “Our ambition, which must be a collective one, is to ensure retirement for all for today, tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow. This is the very key to confidence in our social contract,” he proclaimed. “I reject pitting the young against the retired, active workers against retirees, or [the public sector against the private sector] retirement schemes,” Mr. Ayrault warned, for whom “this would be the wrong method.”

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