Macron puts highly controversial pension reform on hold

French President Emmanuel Macron adjusts his protective face mask during a statement in the courtyard at the Elysee Palace in Paris, France, 04 February 2021. [EPA-EFE/IAN LANGSDON]

French President Emmanuel Macron acknowledged on Thursday that the planned pension reform could not “be resumed as is” after being halted by the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

The debate on the reform plan has been controversial in France, giving rise to numerous social and political protests.

“It is a question that we must collectively ask ourselves. I don’t think that the reform that was initially envisaged can be taken up again as it stands,” said Macron. “It was very ambitious, extremely complex and, as a result, gave cause for concern,” he added.

Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Lemaire said it was necessary to implement the reform in France so that the “pay-as-you-go pension system is financially viable”.

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