23:24 GMT +317 January 2020
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    During his New Year’s address, French President Emmanuel Macron vowed to finalise the hotly-debated issue of pension reform, adding that his ultimate goal was "justice and social progress".

    French unions gathered this Thursday in the country's capital, Paris, calling for a strike and a march through the city in response to planned pension reforms. 

    A wave of protests against the pension reforms started on 11 December 2019 after French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced a two-year-extension of the working period necessary to earn a full pension.

    Amid strikes against the proposed pension legislation, Macron symbolically renounced his would-be benefits as a former head of state. The Élysée Palace confirmed on 21 December that Emmanuel Macron gave up his future pension of €6,220 gross monthly as a former president, thus becoming the first French president to ditch the retirement compensation. 

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    Tags:
    Emmanuel Macron, pension reform, protest, Unions, France
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