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Unions in France are organizing today a national strike and protests against a planned pension reform that will raise the retirement age by two years to 64, reports Reuters.

Trains will stop, schools will be closed and businesses will be disrupted because of the strike.

Opinion polls show French voters overwhelmingly reject the reform the government says is vital to save the pension system from bankruptcy.

At stake is Macron's reformist authority, both at home and among his EU colleagues, as well as maintaining control over public spending, Reuters notes.

Moving the pension age by two years would bring in an extra €17.7bn in annual pension contributions, allowing the system to stabilize by 2027, according to Labor Ministry calculations.

Unions say there are other ways to ensure the viability of the pension system.

Government spokesman Olivier Veran urged workers not to paralyze the country and said the government was calm and determined.

Trade unions in France are preparing large-scale strikes over Macron's pension reform

Unions said this was just the beginning and more strikes and protests would follow.

The reform has yet to be passed by parliament, where Macron has lost his absolute majority, but hopes to push through the changes with the support of conservatives.

Meanwhile, Macron and several of his ministers will be in Barcelona today for a meeting with the Spanish government.


pension reform