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French PM says not looking for confrontation in pension reform

French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe delivers a statement at the Hotel Matignon in Paris following a massive strike and protests against the government pensions reforms plan in France, December 6, 2019. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier

PARIS (Reuters) - French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe said on Friday he was sticking with plans to reform the country’s pension system but insisted change would be gradual and “not brutal”.

“I believe in social dialogue ... I will never be in a logic of confrontation,” Edouard Philippe said after unions called for a new day of strikes and demonstrations against the government’s pension reform plans on Tuesday, Dec. 10.

France is grappling with a second day of travel chaos and understaffed schools and hospitals after street protests on Thursday drew at least 800,000 people.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon