Tuesday marked the sixth consistent day that French nationals have taken to the streets to protest the government’s proposed pension reforms. French President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to increase the retirement age from 60 to 62 and to increase the full state pension age from 65 to 67. The pension reforms allow exceptions for mother’s with three or more children, as well as individuals who endure difficult labor jobs. France’s lower house in parliament National Assembly has already approved the pension reforms. Tomorrow France’s upper house of parliament in the Senate is set to finalize its pension reforms. Since talks began regarding Sarkozy’s pension reforms, the President’s popularity has declined by 30 percent.
On Tuesday over 1 million French nationals from all walks of life have taken to the streets to vocalize their opposition to the government’s pension reforms. For the past week France’s 12 refineries have been on strike. According to Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau, “There is no shortage in the country, but there are problems with excessive precautionary buying and with getting the fuel to some places.” However France’s biggest oil company, Total SA estimates that 4,000 petrol stations are in need of fuel, which is approximately 1 out of every 3 stations.
At a news conference in Deauville President Sarkozy stated he will continue along with his pension reforms and will “focus on the “troublemakers” [protestors] and ensure that public order [is] guaranteed.”