President Sarkozy responds to mass protests and strikes in the wake of his call for pension reforms:
It is an essential reform. So it is normal for it to trigger concerns and significant strike action, as was the case yesterday. It’s one of the functions of the trade union organizations to call for demonstrations and strikes. I am conscious of the concerns being expressed in this way. Just as I am conscious of the disruption it causes those using public services. This is why we brought in the requirement for a minimum service on public transport [in the event of strikes], which has always been fulfilled since 2007.
The core of the plan is “a rise in the minimum retirement age to 62 from 60 and in the full pensionable age to 67 from 65″ which would more or less bring France in line with current American practice.