More rolling strikes and national days of action are planned as the country waits for its Senate to vote on the bill to raise the retirement age by two years.
Let's get a message from the French street:
"I am 44 and I don't want to work until I am 62 or 67," teacher Odile Jaquet told the Associated Press news agency. "I am still young: I still have to work for another 18 years, and in my industry, I don't think that I will be able to work much longer."
First, let me point out to Odile that by saving and investing, one can build one's own (this would be worded less awkwardly if I had any idea what gender the name Odile connotes) financial assets and choose one's own retirement age. Waiting for the state's permission is not the only possible option. I don't want to work until I'm 67 either and have taken a series of steps to try and insure that I won't have to, whatever Uncle Sam may do to his official "retirement age".
Second, being a 52 year old teacher, I wonder what it is about our industry that would cause a 44 year old teacher to say "I don't think I will be able to work much longer". Maybe Odile just got done grading a bunch of mid-terms, that often makes me think the end is near.
Third, is this action being phased in over time or does it just hit everyone at once? If I was 59.5 and planning to retire, I'd be seriously pissed. At age 44, Odile still has a chance to make financial decisions that would allow retirement at 60 instead of 62 (or 65 instead of 67).
Fourth, I would reckon that this small raising of the retirement age is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the eventual retrenchment of the French welfare state. I wonder what kind of protests will occur when the big stuff starts to come down?