Sarkozy vows pensions reform will pass despite strikes

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French President Nicolas Sarkozy vowed Monday that his plan to raise the retirement age will pass, despite protests that have sparked street clashes and strikes causing fuel shortages.

Sarkozy said his pensions reform was "essential" and France would "carry it out", in comments to reporters in Deauville, western France, where he was due to hold a summit with Russian and German leaders.

Unions have called a day of mass demonstrations on Tuesday, the sixth day of coordinated nationwide actions in less than two months, against the plan that would raise the standard retirement age from 60 to 62.

The government has so far shown no signs of backing down despite mass street protests on Saturday and Tuesday.

© 2010 AFP

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