New socialist president Francois Hollande says it's a matter of "social justice." As for lowering the retirement age to 60 in the midst of a fiscal crisis, it is more a matter of insanity than justice.
Workers who entered employment aged 18 will be able to retire at 60 rather than 62, under the decree agreed at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday.
The reforms will cost the state billions of euros a year but can be afforded through higher worker and employer contributions, according to the government.
"We committed to put this measure in place quickly for social justice for those who started working early," said Social Affairs Minister Marisol Touraine.
The decision follows pre-election promises from the new president Francois Hollande to reverse the rise in the retirement age introduced by his predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy in 2010.
It is absolutely amazing what can be justified under the rubric "social justice." Raising taxes on the young so that the old can retire early is a ponzi scheme. Given the state of government debt in France, do the young people who have to pay the increase in taxes realize that by the time they are 60, that retirement age will probably be 70, or older?
Jean-Francois Cope, leader of France's conservative UMP party, called the policy move "madness".
"It risks the downgrade of France's credit rating and at this rate tempts fate," he said.
Socialists could care less about "fate." What matters is their idea of "justice" - even if it bankrupts the country.