Angry French pensioners revolt over hike in social contributions payments

French pensioners held nationwide protests on Thursday over a recent rise in a levy imposed on them to fund the country’s social security system, and which for many represents a yearly loss of several hundred euros. The demonstrations were organised by a united front of pensioners’ unions, who dismiss the government’s argument that the rise is necessary to finance a reduction in social security payments by young workers, what it calls a gesture of “inter-generational solidarity”. While the pensioners’ protest movement shows no signs of abating, some MPs among the ranks of Macron’s normally loyal LREM party have begun voicing their unease over the measure. Manuel Jardinaud, Mathilde Goanec and Romaric Godin report.   

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Under rain and occasional thunder storms, thousands of pensioners took to the streets in Paris and several towns across France on Thursday to protest at cuts in net pension payments, notably following an increase introduced earlier this year on a social security levy that affects all but the lowest pensions.