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French prime minister: We won’t back down over pension reform

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The French government is determined to implement a planned reform of the pension system despite a nationwide strike and protests by trade unions who want the plan scrapped, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Tuesday.

“Democratic and union opposition to our project is perfectly legitimate. But we have stated clearly what our project was and my government is totally determined to reform the pensions system and to balance the pension system’s budget,” Philippe told parliament.

“My determination, and that of the government and the majority, is total,” Philippe said as tens of thousands took to the streets to march against plans to create a unified pension system.