Austerity, French-style

Peter Wilson
A headline in the Wall Street Journal reports that "France Plans to Raise Retirement Age." This sounds like good news until you read further. The current retirement age in France is 60, and President Sarkozy has not specified how far he intends to raise it. The Journal guesses the new retirement age will be 62 or 63, while other reports suggest that 61 will be more palatable. The measure has already met stiff resistance from French labor unions, who brought out between 400,000 and a million protesters in major cities on May 28th. (As usual, crowd estimates vary widely.)Even if Sakorzy succeeds with his "austerity measures," it is likely that France will remain below the OECD average, 63.5 for men and 62.3 for women. The French will still work as much as five years less than Germans, where the retirement age increased from 65 to 67 in 2007. Last week Italy raised its retirement age to 65 for both men and women.

Deutsche Welle comments:

Despite the theoretical minimum retirement age, the average retirement age in France is actually 58.7 years for men and 59.5 years for women...In addition, France has one of the world's longest life-expectancy rates, meaning French workers on average spend a quarter century in retirement.

How do you say "unsustainable" in French?


A headline in the Wall Street Journal reports that "France Plans to Raise Retirement Age." This sounds like good news until you read further. The current retirement age in France is 60, and President Sarkozy has not specified how far he intends to raise it. The Journal guesses the new retirement age will be 62 or 63, while other reports suggest that 61 will be more palatable. The measure has already met stiff resistance from French labor unions, who brought out between 400,000 and a million protesters in major cities on May 28th. (As usual, crowd estimates vary widely.)

Even if Sakorzy succeeds with his "austerity measures," it is likely that France will remain below the OECD average, 63.5 for men and 62.3 for women. The French will still work as much as five years less than Germans, where the retirement age increased from 65 to 67 in 2007. Last week Italy raised its retirement age to 65 for both men and women.

Deutsche Welle comments:

Despite the theoretical minimum retirement age, the average retirement age in France is actually 58.7 years for men and 59.5 years for women...In addition, France has one of the world's longest life-expectancy rates, meaning French workers on average spend a quarter century in retirement.

How do you say "unsustainable" in French?