UPDATE 1-French PM ready to discuss pension terms as new strikes loomReuters | Paris | Updated: 07-01-2020 15:59 IST | Created: 07-01-2020 14:47 IST
French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Tuesday he was open to discussing changes to the average retirement age with unions, one of the main sticking points over pensions reform plans that have triggered protests.
Trade unions have vowed to halt the reforms, which are a central part of President Emmanuel Macron's agenda. Nationwide strikes and demonstrations have repeatedly shut schools and closed transport, while demonstrations have led to clashes with the police, most recently on Saturday. Unions are planning the next major demonstration for Jan. 9 and four days of strikes to shut down oil refineries.
"I'm open to any discussion of the terms," Philippe told RTL radio on Tuesday. He said police were ready to intervene to prevent any blockades of oil refineries, and said France was not at risk of a fuel shortage.