President gives up automatic pension given to French leaders as union standoff continues
Emmanuel Macron is to give up his own generous presidential pension in an attempt to calm anger over politicians’ privileges, as French transport strikes caused chaos for Christmas travellers.
With rail strikes continuing into their third week and travellers scrambling to get to home for the holidays, Macron, who turned 42 this weekend, made the symbolic move to become the first president in more than 50 years to give up the automatic pension of more than €6,000 a month that all French leaders receive after leaving office, regardless of age or wealth.
Macron’s office added that he would not take his seat in France’s constitutional court, where former presidents are members for life and receive a monthly allowance of €13,500.
“This is about being exemplary and coherent,” an Élysée official said.
The pro-business Macron is aware that the strikes over his planned pensions changes have increasingly focused on him personally, with caricatures and banners at street demonstrations depicting him as king.