French stars demand the abandonment of the “unfair” pension reform – RT Games & Culture
Leading French television and film personalities – including actress Juliette Binoche and director Michel Hazanavicius – have addressed President Emmanuel Macron in an open letter denouncing controversial pension reform plans that have sparked angry protests in all the countries.
The petition was published on Wednesday by the newspaper Liberation.
Artists have joined mass opposition to the pensions bill that would see the retirement age in France rise from 62 to 64. The petition calls for change “unfair, ineffective, hardest affecting the most precarious and women, rejected by the vast majority of the population, and even a minority in the National Assembly.” French celebrities are calling for a “immediate withdrawal” of the measure.
The petition drew particular attention to “The Impact of Reformation on Artists and Filmmakers.” The text cites in particular surveys which show that “roles are more rarely offered to women over 50″ and so the new retirement age would put actresses in a more vulnerable position.
The letter was originally signed by 300 French actors, singers and filmmakers, but had collected more than 1,800 signatures on the Change.org site on Saturday.
Binoche is one of the biggest names among those who signed the petition. Her acting career spans over 40 years and she has appeared in over 60 feature films. Binoche has won numerous French film awards and won the prestigious Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1997 for her role in The English Patient. Similarly, another signatory of the letter, Michel Hazanavicius won the Oscar for best director in 2011 for his film The Artist.
Protests against France’s pension reform have been going on since January, when the bill was still being drafted. Thursday, more than a million demonstrators took to the streets, according to the French Ministry of the Interior. This followed the Macron government’s decision last week to use executive privilege to pass the pension reform without a parliamentary vote. The situation degenerated into clashes between demonstrators and the police, raising the concern of the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights.
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