PARIS, Jan 11 (Reuters) – French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe on Saturday provided a serious concession to unions contesting his authorities’s overhaul of the pension system, in a transfer geared toward ending strikes which are actually of their fifth week.

Philippe mentioned in a letter to unions and employers that he was ready to withdraw plans to lift the retirement age for full pension advantages by two years to 64 if sure situations had been met.

“The compromise that I’m offering … seems to me the best way to peacefully reform our retirement system,” Philippe mentioned in a duplicate of the letter obtained by Reuters.

He made the concession after talks between the federal government and commerce unions to interrupt the impasse failed on Friday.

The CFDT, France’s largest union which is inclined to simply accept a restricted reform, welcomed the transfer, saying in a press release that it confirmed “the government’s will to find a compromise.”

But the hardline CGT union, which needs the reform dropped altogether, rejected the provide and referred to as on employees to take part in a collection of protests deliberate for subsequent week.

The authorities’s concession comes as tens of hundreds of demonstrators marched via japanese Paris towards the reform, which goals to interchange France’s myriad sector-specific pension schemes with a single points-based scheme.

The protest turned violent on its fringes with police firing tear gasoline and charging teams smashing home windows and lighting garbage bins and billboards on fireplace.

The authorities’s standoff with the unions is the largest problem but of President Emmanuel Macron’s will to reform the euro zone’s second-biggest economic system.

Philippe’s authorities had hoped to create incentives to make individuals work longer, notably by elevating the age at which an individual might draw a full pension to 64 whereas sustaining the authorized retirement age at 62.

The authorities has argued that the pension reform, which might be the largest since World War II, would make the system fairer whereas additionally placing it on a extra sound monetary footing.

With one of many lowest retirement ages amongst industrialized nations, France at present spends the equal of 14% of financial output on pensions.

Philippe goals to current the reform invoice on Jan. 24 in order that it may be mentioned in parliament beginning in mid February with the intention of passing a regulation earlier than the summer season break.

He mentioned within the letter he anticipated unions and employers to agree on how to make sure the long-term financing of the pensions system in April. If they did not agree, the federal government would go decrees guaranteeing the pension system is within the black by 2027, he added.

The CGT mentioned that was merely a tactic to impose the next retirement age as unions and employers had been unlikely to search out an settlement.

(Reporting by Caroline Paillez, Noemie Olive, Pascale Antonie and Ardee Napolitano; writing by Leigh Thomas; enhancing byAlexander Smith, Mike Harrison and Clelia Oziel)

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