Can president Emmanuel Macron reform the French pensions system? As French unions and workers are marching across France in opposition to the reform project for the sixth day of a renewable strike that some hope will be 'unlimited', the question of the reform's feasibility is being raised. READ MORE: France braces for further travel chaos as pension strike continues The French pensions reform has been partially revealed in a report by the French High Commissioner for the reform, Jean-Paul Delevoye, in July, but much of the detail remains unknown so far. The French government is expected to publish a detailed proposition this week. Emmanuel Macron said on Monday that the pensions reform is "essential" in the country. "It falls under the government's action and under the announcements that will be made". A complex system The French pensions system is complex: it is composed of 42 different systems, based on the specificities of each professional sector. Merging these into one … [Read more...] about How can France best reform its pensions system?
Frances frei how to build and rebuild trust
FILE PHOTO: A French SNCF railway worker on strike holds a CGT labour union flag as he walks on a platform at Nice railway station during a day of national strike and protests against French government's pensions reform plans, France, December 5, 2019. REUTERS/Eric Gaillard PARIS (Reuters) - France’s CGT union will decide next week whether to declare an unlimited strike at oil refineries, including potential production shut down mid next week if unions decide to harden that stance in the ongoing protest over planned pension reform. Workers at six of France’s seven refineries joined the nationwide protest on Tuesday following a call by unions for workers to stage one of the biggest protests in decades, against President Emmanuel Macron’s pension reforms. Thierry Defresne, an official of the hardline CGT trade union, told Reuters that oil sector workers will continue the strike for 72 hours and will decide mid next week whether they’ll declare an … [Read more...] about France’s CGT says decision on unlimited strike at refineries mid next week
PARIS: At least seven people died due to a devastating fire at an eight-story building in the French capital of Paris, said reports citing city's fire service on Tuesday. The devastating fire took place in a wealthy Paris neighbourhood this morning. The blaze left 28 people, including two firefighters, with minor injuries, news agency ANI reported quoting Associated Press. Some of those affected by fire jumped on nearby roofs to escape the smoke and flames and pleaded for help, said eye-witnesses. Efforts are underway to rescue them. The fire-hit building is close to several landmarks including the Trocadero overlooking the Eiffel Tower, Paris Saint-Germain’s home stadium the Parc des Princes, the picturesque Bois de Bologne and an array of upmarket shops and restaurants. The area is also frequented by a large number of tourists. According to the Paris Fire Service, around 200 firefighters are at the spot, battling the blaze and treating the injured. … [Read more...] about Fire at building in upmarket Paris neighbourhood leaves 7 dead, rescue ops underway
FRANCE is promising business a “smart border” to solve Calais chaos in the event of a No Deal. Arch Brexiteer MPs leapt on the revelation yesterday to say it proved cutting edge technology could be used to solve the row over the Irish border. Under the plans released by French customs, hauliers would enter a customs declaration before travel – generating a specific bar code. ‘Smart’ cameras would then use number plate recognition to identify lorries on arrival – checking the vehicle against the load in “real time”. Drivers would then be guided towards a “green” channel automatically, allowing them pass straight through the customs control - or diverted to an “orange” lane for checks. Eurosceptics said it showed Theresa May had been wrong to dismiss technological solutions and “trusted trader” schemes to avoid the need for a hard border in Ireland a year ago.The idea has been revived by Brexiteers and … [Read more...] about France promises business ‘smart border’ to solve Calais chaos if No Deal Brexit
FILE PHOTO: French President Emmanuel Macron at the NATO summit in Watford, Britain, December 4, 2019. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron said Britain and the European Union should push on with Brexit after the UK’s general election on Thursday and that maintaining the unity of the remaining members was paramount. “We must be able to advance quickly after these elections,” Macron said on Tuesday in remarks alongside the new head of the European Council, Charles Michel, who hosts an EU leaders summit this week. Macron urged other EU leaders to remain united and “rigorous in the defence of our interests”. Reporting by Richard Lough; Editing by Jon Boyle Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles. … [Read more...] about France’s Macron: let’s press on with Brexit after UK’s election
The uncle of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad stood trial in Paris on Monday accused of pumping tens of millions of pounds of “ill-gotten gains” into a vast property empire for himself and his extended family. However, Rifaat al-Assad, dubbed the "Butcher of Hama" for allegedly commanding troops that put down an uprising in central Syria in 1982, was not present in court “for medical reasons”. His lawyers said doctors of the 82-year-old British resident had “recommended he avoid any stressful situations”. Mr Assad, who splits his time between France and Britain, has been under investigation in France since 2014. He is charged with organised money laundering to illegally build a €90 million (£76m) property portfolio in France. His reported French empire comprises two Paris townhouses, one measuring 32,000 square feet, 40 luxury flats, as well as a stud farm, a chateau and 78,500 square metres of office space in Lyon. The … [Read more...] about Syrian president’s uncle stands trial over ‘ill-gotten gains’ empire in France