French bill to raise retirement age becomes law

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The Independent Online

French President Nicolas Sarkozy's reform raising the retirement age from 60 to 62 became law today after months of protests by unions.

The law was published in the government's Journal Official, meaning President Sarkozy has signed it and it has formally gone into effect. The constitutional watchdog approved the plan yesterday and France's parliament gave the measure its backing on October 27.

The reform sparked weeks of street demonstrations and nationwide strikes that caused petrol shortages and havoc for travellers.

The opposition Socialists opposed the conservative government's measure. Like many heavily indebted European governments, France is trying to cut back on spending.

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