French President Emmanuel Macron described to give up in advance his future pension as a president, according to presidential residence Elysee Palace on Saturday.
The decision came as France entered the 17th day of a social movement against the pension reform plan pressed ahead with by Macron’s government, while the President has been celebrating Christmas with the French troops in Ivory Coast since Friday, Xinhua news agency reported.
“There is no desire to display” but “a desire for consistency” from the part of Macron, the Elysee told AFP.
“Consistency” means that the law on former presidents’ pensions will no longer apply to any president in the future, the Elysee further said.
Under the French law, former heads of state have a pension equivalent to the salary of a state councillor, or 6,220 euros (about 6,890 US dollars) per month. This amount is not subject to any age condition, the term of office or income limit.
Last week, thousands of protesters torched cars and pelted police with stones and bottles and police fired tear gas and water cannon in Paris as it marks the first anniversary of the anti-government “yellow vest” demonstrations erupted into violence.
Clashes erupted between demonstrators and police near the Porte de Champerret, close to the Arc de Triomphe, as protesters prepared to march across town towards Gare d’Austerlitz.
Macron’s government wants to set up a single point-based pension system to replace the country’s current complicated pension system that has 42 schemes for different sectors and professions.
The government argues that the new system would be simpler and fairer for all, but unions fear that citizens will have to work for longer and ultimately get lower pensions. Strikes have crippled the country’s public transport and education for over two weeks.
In November, tens of thousands of people took to streets of Paris and other French cities to protest against domestic violence, after more than 130 women are believed to have been killed by their partner or ex-partner in France this year.
The march, which covered the main avenues in Paris, also had the support of most national unions and leftist parties, with famous faces, such as actresses Léa Drucker and Julie Gayet, and Vincent Trintignant the brother of actress Marie Trintignant who was beaten to death by her partner in 2003.
The crisis forced President Macron to make policy concessions and delay the next wave of reforms, including overhauling the pension and unemployment systems.