France’s Parliament passed President Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension bill to raise the country’s retirement age as labor unions prepared for a new day of strikes and protests.
The bill raises the minimum retirement age to 62 from 60 and the full-pension age to 67 from 65. While Mr. Sarkozy wants to enact the law on Nov. 15, France’s Constitutional Court may need more time to review it.
Labor unions said protests and strikes over the bill, which have left the country crippled with fuel shortages and public transport disruptions, are far from over. They have called for strikes and marches Thursday and more demonstrations on Nov. 6. Unions at French airlines and air traffic controllers have called for separate strike on Nov. 4 to protest the bill.
“Voted or not, this problem isn’t over,” said Bernard Thibault, head of the CGT union.
The full-pension age brings France closer to Germany and the U.S., which are moving toward setting 67 as the full-retirement age, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The government says the pension changes are needed to help France cope with an aging population and balance the pension system’s budget by 2018.
The overhaul is part of the broader government struggle to cut the budget deficit. This year, the gap will stand at 7.7% of gross domestic product, and Mr. Sarkozy’s ministers plan to narrow it to 6%, or €92 billion, next year.
The risk premium on French bonds decreased. Investors demanded 36.6 basis points more to buy 10-year French bonds than comparable German securities, against about 41.6 basis points on Oct. 12. The spreads were at 30 basis points on Sept. 6.