(AFP) – Nov 9, 2010
PARIS — President Nicolas Sarkozy lost no time in signing into law his retirement reform bill that has drawn millions onto the streets in weeks of protests, just hours after it was approved by France's constitutional court.
The law, seen by Sarkozy as the most important of his mandate, was published Wednesday in the Official Journal.
The court gave its approval Tuesday after parliament passed the law's final version on October 27, including the key measures to raise the standard retirement age from 60 to 62 and the full state pension age from 65 to 67.
However, the court ruled that 13 articles on reform of workplace healthcare, which were unconnected to the main bill and added on as amendments, were unconstitutional.
Socialist and other opposition parties had brought the bill before the court on November 2, arguing that it went against French principles of equality, but the court said in a statement that was not the case.
Unions have called a new day of action on November 23 against the law in a bid to revive weeks of protests.
Action against the reforms could take the form of work stoppages, rallies or meetings, prominent French unions said on Monday.
The law, a key part of Sarkozy's reform agenda as he eyes re-election in 2012, sparked weeks of strikes and mass protests last month, causing fuel shortages.
The president's haste in signing off the bill could be connected with his desire to reshuffle the governing team.
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