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Thousands of Czechs protest against proposed retirement age rise to 68


Around 2,000 workers took to the streets of Prague and marched passed the cabinet office on March 29th in protest at a proposed rise in the retirement age.

The Czech government wants to raise the age from 65 to 68, saying it must rein in spending as there’s a huge hole in its budget.

If it succeeds it would be set four years higher than France’s retirement age where massive nationwide demonstrations against a rise to 64 years turned violent.

Pensions have already been altered. They were index linked, meaning that they had been keeping up with the high rate of inflation which in February was at 16.6 percent.

But the government has now limited the rise to just 2.3 percent.

Leaders from opposition parties took part in the demonstration, including Andrej Babis, the populist billionaire chief of the centrist ANO (YES) party, the anti-migrant Direct Democracy Party and the far-left Communist party.

Babis, a former prime minister, called on unions to stage large protests, pledging his support.

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