Macron buckles on raising France’s retirement age in budget bill

Link: https://www.ft.com/content/cf3eff53-2dfb-4530-a756-1e1361990d7d

Excerpt:

French president Emmanuel Macron has decided against pushing through a rise in the retirement age to 65 in a budget bill, backing off an idea that had angered labour unions and divided his centrist alliance.

The move signals how Macron has been forced to contend with a stronger opposition in his second term after his party lost its majority in parliament in June.

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Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne told Agence France-Presse on Thursday that the government would start negotiations with labour unions, employers and other political parties with a view to passing a law over the coming months.

The government still wants to raise the retirement age from 62 at present to 65, one of Macron’s campaign promises that he sees as key to fixing France’s public finances.

Author(s): Leila Abboud

Publication Date: 29 Sept 2022

Publication Site: Financial Times

Doses of AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 Vaccine Pile Up in Europe Amid Government Restrictions

Link: https://www.wsj.com/articles/doses-of-astrazenecas-covid-19-vaccine-pile-up-in-europe-amid-government-restrictions-11614715968

Excerpt:

Europe’s reluctance to distribute millions of doses of AstraZeneca PLC’s Covid-19 vaccine is coming under pressure after the French government authorized use of the shot for some older people.

The French government announced it would allow people with comorbidities between the ages of 65 and 74 to receive the vaccine developed by Oxford University and AstraZeneca. New data from the U.K. on Monday showed just one dose of the vaccine was effective in preventing disease and deaths among adults aged 70 and older who had received it.

France’s move was a sharp departure from a month ago when President Emmanuel Macron told reporters that the vaccine was quasi ineffective for people older than 65, without providing evidence to back up his claim. The comments helped sow doubts across the European Union that still persist.

Author(s): Stacy Meichtry, Bojan Pancevski

Publication Date: 2 March 2021

Publication Site: Wall Street Journal