Macron says pension changes will not go ahead
Emmanuel Macron said his controversial pension changes, the biggest single revamp of the French system since 1945, will not go ahead as planned as he again refused to say whether he would run for another five-year presidential term. “I do not think the reform as it was originally envisaged can go ahead” in the wake of the Covid crisis, the French president told reporters following him on a nationwide tour in the run-up to regional elections this month. The planned pension overhaul, among other pro-business changes that helped spark the 2018-19 gilets jaunes (yellow vests) protest, were halted in their tracks by the pandemic in February last year. Central to Macron’s ambition of creating a more flexible and competitive labour force, the proposed changes included raising the retirement age by two years to 64, but are now unlikely to make progress until after the 2022 presidential election. Macron said he would make “difficult” decisions this summer, again refusing to confirm he would run.