French President Nicolas Sarkozy has proposed to allow some people to retire earlier than at age 62 after pressure from trade unions.
French trade unions have already staged three 24-hour strikes and threaten to hold another next week, in protest against the proposals to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. The reform bill is currently before the French Senate.
Sarkozy has responded to pressure with a suggestion to allow mothers of three or more children, or parents of disabled children, to retire before 62. This, the president proposes, can be funded using money from new taxes set to raise 3.4bn euros (£3bn).
"At this stage, we have no choice but to go radical," said Bruno Duchemin, a spokesman for the CFDT-Fgaac union told the BBC.
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