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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Réformes des retraites : pour 62 %, c’est non !

by Loan Nguyen

Retirement Reform: 62% of the French Say No!

Translated Wednesday 11 September 2013, by Gene Zbikowski

A BVA opinion poll shows broader opposition than to the 2010 reform, but greater among those on the right than those on the left.

This is an opinion poll to be handled with kid gloves, but one which already sketches out strong disapproval of the retirement reform announced by Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on August 27. Scarcely had the broad lines of the reform been unveiled when a BVA opinion poll of 1,010 people done by telephone and the Internet for i-Télé on August 29 and 30 revealed firm opposition among those polled to the announced continuation of the lengthening of the dues-paying period and the increase in worker contributions, with the bosses alone benefitting from a fat compensation. In comparison, only 54% of those polled in June 2010 opposed the Fillon government’s retirement reform. Opposition even rises to 77% among private-sector workers and to 79% among those aged 35-50, who, according to the polling organization, say the reform is “unfair.”

The details of the poll results according to political affinity show that opposition to the reform is particularly strong among those who identify with the right (89%), although the project is a continuation of the previous reform adopted by the Sarkozy government. On the other hand, 69% of those who identify with the left approve of the government’s proposed measures, even though only 58% describe them as “fair.” Both left- and right-wingers agree in seriously doubting that the reform will “balance the financing of retirement pensions in the long term” (86% of those polled don’t think it will). Although the polling sample seems to include a large proportion of people who identify with the right, it would nonetheless seem that progressive arguments have not yet convinced those on the left. This ought to motivate the political and trade union activists who are already engaged in the ideological battle in the run-up to the September 10 demonstrations.

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