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Macron hopes to break deadlock in pension reform crisis



French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday said he hopes to break the deadlock in the country’s pension reform dispute, warning that the pension system must be balanced out of responsibility to the future generation.

The government spokeswoman, Sibeth Ndiaye, after a cabinet meeting on Monday, said Macron hopes to find solution at talks beginning on Tuesday, with new Bill to be voted on in the National Assembly ahead of March’s local elections.

Ndiaye added that the government was open to suggestion from social partners.

“A particular sticking point is a planned raise of the standard age of retirement on full pension from 62 to 64, which the government hopes will plug the large financing gap in the pension system.

“Observers predict that the government will make concessions on this point.

“The strike has crippled France for more than a month now. Monday again, saw limited public transport service across the country, with trains packed now that many have returned from holiday,“ Indiaye said.

According to the State-Owned Rail Company (SNCF), 36 per cent of train drivers are refusing to work on Monday.

However, students were seen joining the action on Monday, blockading some universities. Among their grievances was the fact that important examinations had been scheduled to go ahead in spite transport strikes.

Meanwhile, the examinations were postponed in December due to the lingering transport strikes.

However, lawyers had earlier joined the strike, though government hoped its pension reform would end the fragmentation of pensions into 42 different funds and introduce a universal points system.

Edited by: Yahaya Isah/Muhammad Suleiman Tola

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