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France paralyzed as thousands of workers launch general strike against pension reforms Updated: 2019-12-06 16:03:45 KST

France's largest general strike in decades has shut down large parts of the country in the latest protest against President Emmanuel Macron's pension reform plans.
According to French police, more than 800,000 workers nationwide launched a general strike on Thursday, calling for Macron to abandon the reforms.
There were even violent clashes between protesters and police in some cities.
More than 10 Metro lines were closed in Paris and only 10 percent of trains operated as railway workers joined the walk-out.
Many schools were also closed and about 20% of all flights going into and out of Paris and other large cities have been canceled.
Workers in France are angry about a proposed pension reform which would see them get reduced payouts or have to retire later.
Currently, France's pension plan has 42 separate systems with variations in retirement age and benefits.
The official retirement age is currently 62, but some 'special schemes' allow certain public sector workers to retire as early as 50.
However for the sake of equality, France President Emmanuel Macron wants to create a unified system where everyone's pension would be calculated the same way.
He aims to implement a points-based system where the employees are awarded points for each day worked which would be transferred into future pension benefits.

"Today, I demonstrate for the next generation. Because when you see that we have worked all our lives - I have worked 43 years, I have a 1,200 euros pension - I doubt that younger people will have a pension like we currently have. If they want it, they will have to work until they are 70 years old. It is untenable."

The protesters claim that they would be short-changed as the proposed reforms would remove many of the pension benefits for certain jobs like lawyers and railway workers.
Eum Ji-young Arirang News.
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