French Prime Minister: will decide by end of week on how to move forward on contested pensions reform

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne delivers a speech during a press conference on the energy situation in France and Europe, in Paris, France September 14, 2022. Bertrand GUAY/Pool via REUTERS

PARIS, Sept 26 (Reuters) - French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said the government would decide by the end of this week on how to move forward with plans to reform the country's pensions system - something that has faced fierce opposition in the past from trade unions.

"We are looking for the best way forward," Borne told RMC Radio and BFM TV, adding that the government remained in consultations with trade unions over the matter.

French President Emmanuel Macron has said that reforming the pensions system is a key priority for his government, but previous plans to change it have encountered major street protests.

Macron wants to start implementing the reforms, which mainly consist of a progressive rise to 65 of the legal retirement age, next summer.

Trade unions opposed to this reform say it will result in people having to work for longer, while the government says the reform will be better for the overall French economy.

Borne reiterated that this progressive rise in the retirement age remained part of the government's plans.

Borne added that in case the reforms were blocked in parliament, the government could in theory use the '49.3' clause - namely a French constitutional mechanism to allow a government to pass legislation even if lacks a majority in parliament.

Reporting by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta

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