12 Dec 2008

French court throws out law to curb pensions from next year

2:05 pm on 12 December 2008

The French constitutional court has thrown out a new law which was to curb pensions from next year for those retiring in France's overseas territories.

The court in Paris has ruled that a number of provisions of the law adopted last month are incompatible with clauses of the French constitution dating back to 1946.

The court challenge was launched by the opposition Socialists and supported by French Polynesia's senator, Gaston Flosse, who has been defying the right-wing UMP on the pension issue.

His Tahoeraa Huiraatira Party has issued a statement to express its satisfaction but warns that the French junior minister in charge of overseas territories, Yves Jego, is expected to resubmit the reform in a revised form.

The law was to reduce the pensions for those retiring after the end of this year and change conditions for eligibility of the French pension in overseas territories.

The court ruling came as hundreds of French officials employed overseas demonstrated in Paris to demand that their entitlements be left unchanged.

Last month, the reform prompted thousands of public servants in French

Polynesia to hold a 15-day strike, disrupting schools and blocking the port.