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  #541  
Old 06-29-2018, 03:29 PM
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RUSSIA

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-r...-idUSKBN1JL1F8

Quote:
Kremlin shrugs off rare dent in Putin's ratings over retirement age hike
Spoiler:
MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Monday shrugged off a rare fall in President Vladimir Putin’s popularity ratings caused by plans to raise the retirement age sharply, saying there was no need to dramatize the situation.

FILE PHOTO - Russian President Vladimir Putin attends an awarding ceremony, marking the Day of Russia, at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia June 12, 2018. Yuri Kadobnov/Pool via REUTERS
Putin “is not poring over his ratings,” his spokesman said.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, a close ally, said on June 14 that the government wanted to raise the retirement age for men by five years, to 65 from 60, and for women by eight years, to 63 from 55. The rationale for the proposed reform was to ease intense pressure on state coffers.

Announced on the day the soccer World Cup opened in Russia, critics accused Medvedev of trying to bury bad news, while surveys have since shown that around 90 percent of the population oppose the plan.

One survey, by the FOM pollster, showed on Thursday that the number of Russians who said they would vote for Putin had fallen by eight percent in a week to 54 from 62 percent and that his approval rating was down six percent to 69 from 75 percent.

Another, by the state VTsIOM pollster, showed on Friday that his approval rating had tumbled by around five percent. Nearly 2.5 million people have also signed a petition calling on Putin not to go ahead with the plan.

PROTESTS
Asked about the drop in Putin’s ratings, Dmitry Peskov, his spokesman, was sanguine on Monday.

“I would not dramatize the situation,” Peskov told reporters on a conference call. The proposed pension reform was a socially sensitive topic which had yet to be finalised.

“Of course, public sensitivity (about this issue) has an effect on the volatility of rating indicators. But you know that Putin has a really pragmatic attitude to this and the main thing for him is to continue working and carrying out his duties as head of state. He is not poring over his ratings.”

Though down, Putin’s ratings still remain much higher than any of his political rivals.

Putin, who won a landslide re-election victory in March and is himself 65, said in 2005 that he would never agree to raise the retirement age while president.

When asked about Putin’s apparent U-turn on the issue this month, Peskov, his spokesman, said that a lot of time had elapsed and the situation had changed.

He said Putin had not been involved in drawing up the reform, which he said was still a work in progress.

The government hopes the changes will ease pressure on state finances which have been squeezed by fluctuating oil prices, Western sanctions, and a shrinking workforce whose tax take must support a growing number of pensioners.

Opposition leader Alexei Navalny has called for people to take to the streets of 20 cities not hosting World Cup matches on July 1 to protest against the plans and other forces — politicians, trade unions and activists — are organizing similar demonstrations.
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  #542  
Old 06-29-2018, 03:30 PM
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UGANDA
MILITARY

http://observer.ug/news/headlines/58...increased.html

Quote:
Army wants retirement age increased

Spoiler:
The army leadership wants parliament to review the Uganda Peoples' Defence Forces Act, 2005 to include clauses that it says will cater for the current situations and demands.

Deputy chief of defence forces, Lt. Gen. Wilson Mbadi disclosed this while addressing 575 officers and combatants of retirement batch 8A in Jinja district on Wednesday. Mbadi noted that some of the soldiers are forced to retire to fulfil the provisions of the Act yet they are still capable of serving their country.

According to the UPDF Act, warrant officers under class 1 retire at 50 years; class II at 48 years while staff sergeants and others leave at 46. However, Mbadi says they have proposed to parliament to review the entire Act.


Lt. Gen. Wilson Mbadi with the commander of the Uganda People's Defence Forces Maj Gen Peter Elwelu at another event

"Review of all the UPDF Act on certain areas that we think have been overtaken by events. So, we want to bring them update to the current situation such that they are applicable to the current situation. It is not just about one officer, it includes age brackets where we think, probably certain ranks should be extended upwards such that those people serving in those brackets are given more time to serve because they give a lot to foundation ethics in the military." Mbadi said.

According to Mbadi, they also want parliament to review the compensation for disability attained in service and the time they retire after sustaining injuries and pension given to low ranking officers. He cautioned the retiring soldiers to explore other career opportunities so as to continue living a profitable life outside forces.

Quoting Harry Emerson Fosdick, a famous American Pastor, Mbadi said "don't just retire from something, have something to retire to."

He told the officers to invest their pension in small businesses to support them to fend for their families. The army is slated to retire 1,297 officers and soldiers in 2018/2019 financial year comprising of 1,159 militants, 127 senior officers and 11 generals.
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  #543  
Old 06-29-2018, 03:30 PM
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CHINA

https://www.ainonline.com/aviation-n...irement-age-62

Quote:
China To Raise Pilot Retirement Age to 62

Spoiler:
After much thought and debate, China plans to raise the retirement age of pilots working with local airlines from 60 to 62 in 2021 as part of its plan to help ease an acute shortage. According to Chinese state projections, the country’s airlines will require 5,000 pilots per year to meet the rapid expansion and growth of the local civil aviation industry.

Outside China, three other Asian carriers have raised the retirement age for their pilots. Japan Airlines was the first when it raised the age from 62 to 64 in 2004, then again to 67 in February 2015 with the approval of the Ministry of Transport in Tokyo. Malaysia Airlines raised the age from 55 to 60 in 2008 and Singapore Airlines from 62 to 64 subject to the health of the pilot and approval from management. Kuala Lumpur-based low-cost carrier AirAsia’s pilots retire at 65.

Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) official Ma Lin told AIN that the number of pilots required by Chinese airlines increases every year as carriers expand their networks and fleets and build frequencies. “More Chinese are traveling out of the country on leisure due to its growing middle class,” Ma noted.

China’s aviation market grew 13.1 percent in 2017, as 549.7 million Chinese traveled that year. Estimates place market growth at 16 to 17 percent this year.

The world’s fastest-growing aviation market, China continues to attract foreign pilots with generous remuneration packages of as much as $310,000 a year for experienced captains with a current type rating. Some airlines offer tax-free salaries to outdo others.

Contracts usually run three years with provision for expansion. Now local pilots have begun to put pressure on their respective employers for the same salary packages they offer foreigners.

In the early 2000s, virtually no foreign pilots worked in China. Today, Chinese airlines employ pilots from South Korea, South America, Singapore, the U.S., Australia, and even Eastern Europe. Korea, due to its geographical location, remains its main source of pilots flying narrowbody aircraft. Some 1,600 foreign pilots now fly for Chinese carriers.

Some 80 percent of Chinese airlines send their cadet pilots to Europe, Australia, or the U.S. for training. The country now requires cadets to go through a minimum 100 hours of language instruction in aviation English, compared with the previous requirement of 80 hours, before they start their courses in a foreign country.

Chinese schools currently train about 1,800 pilots out of an estimated total of 4,600 a year.

According to Boeing’s 2017-2036 forecast, Chinese airline fleets will close to triple, to 7,240 aircraft over the next 20 years, requiring some 100,000 pilots.
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  #544  
Old 06-29-2018, 03:31 PM
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HARARE, ZIMBABWE

https://www.herald.co.zw/council-ret...ge-back-to-65/

Quote:
Council retirement age back to 65
Spoiler:
Harare City Council has reverted to the late retirement age of 65, saying the decision to retire its workers at 60 had negatively affected its operations and necessitated constant re-engagement of retirees to ameliorate skills shortage.

The decision was made at a full council meeting on Monday after councillors decided to alter a resolution it made in March 2014 to retire its workers at the age of 60 years. At the time council introduced a 55-year early retirement and 60 years mandatory retirement policy.

“The above would result in less financial pressure being exerted on council in respect of Local Authorities Pension Fund disbursements since no council employees would be retiring in the next five years. Council would then be able to concentrate on paying pension dues to employees who have already retired while also reducing litigations to non-payment of pensions,” read minutes of the Human Resources and General Purposes Committee.

“Following discussion, the committee resolved to recommend that council approves the alteration of its resolution recorded under Item 20 dated 6 March 2014 from the normal retirement age of 60 years to late retirement age of 65 for council employees with immediate effect from the adoption of this recommendation by council.”

The move by council follows court challenges by the Harare Municipal Workers Union, which accused council of inhuman treatment by forcing employees to retire at 60 years when their contracts of employment and collective bargaining agreement set final retirement age at 65.

HMWU executive chairperson Mr Cosmas Bungu said the city arrived at the decision without consulting other partners.

Mr Bungu’s comments came as former council employees recently demonstrated over non-payment of pensions. Although council deducted money from their accounts, it was not remitted to the Local Authorities Pension Fund.

“The forced retirement idea came from the employer. The pensionable ages in terms of the Statutory Instrument 135-2012 (10) clause(1) states that “subject to the Local Authority Pension Regulation the following shall be considered pensionable age (a) 50 of years of age early retirement (b) 60 years of age normal retirement (c) 65 years retirement.”

Mr Bungu said the employees, who retired at the age of 60, had contracts of employment stating their retirement age as 65. He said instead, they were subjected to the inhuman treatment.

“We took our cases through numerous forums, including the then Minister of Local Government since in our qualified view the decision appeared to have sinister political connotations and motives taking into cognisance certain departments, sections and divisions in the city,” he said.
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  #545  
Old 06-29-2018, 04:07 PM
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RUSSIA

https://www.economist.com/europe/201...back-to-stalin

Quote:
Russia will raise pension ages that date back to Stalin
People are not happy, but protests are likely to be muted
Spoiler:
WHEN the Soviet Union started paying pensions in the early years of Josef Stalin’s rule, the retirement age was set at 60 for men and 55 for women. It has not been raised since. Experts have urged change for decades, but squeamish politicians have balked. Vladimir Putin declared in 2005 that it would not go up as long as he was president.

So it was with trepidation on June 14th, a month into Mr Putin’s fourth presidential term, that the government revealed plans to raise the retirement age to 65 for men and 63 for women. They announced the move along with an increase in value-added tax from 18% to 20%, hoping to bury the bad news under the opening of the World Cup that day.


Yet Russians have taken notice. Some 2.5m have signed an online petition opposing the change; according to a government pollster, Mr Putin’s approval ratings dropped to “only” 72% on June 17th, levels not seen since before the annexation of Crimea. “They want to solve the government’s money problems at the expense of the people,” gripes Alexander Serukhin, a 55-year-old engineer in Pskov. Alexei Navalny, the country’s leading opposition politician, has called for demonstrations on July 1st, and labelled the government’s decision “robbery”.


The Kremlin’s move does not signal a newfound openness to structural reform. Instead, it reflects overdue necessity. Russia’s pension problems begin, as in much of the world, with an ageing population that is now once again living ever longer. Raising the retirement age was suggested in Mr Putin’s first economic strategy in 2000. Putting off the move has compounded the problems. Russia’s retirement age is lower than in any of the OECD countries; among former Soviet republics, only Russia and Uzbekistan have not raised it since the USSR collapsed. Unhelpful demographic trends exert additional pressure, with a small generation born during Russia’s turbulent 1990s now entering the workforce and having to help pay for a large post-war generation reaching retirement age.

The increase, which will be phased in over ten years for men and 16 years for women, should significantly reduce the burden on the federal budget and allow for higher pensions to be paid. The pension fund currently sucks up subsidies worth about 2.5% of GDP. A study by a government think-tank estimates that without changes, the number of pensioners would grow from 40m today to 42.5m in 2035, exceeding the number of workers paying into the system. The proposed changes will see the number of pensioners instead shrink to 35m by 2035.

The government has promised that monthly pensions will go up by 1,000 roubles ($15) in 2019; officials say they could amount to 40% of salaries down the road. Yet many people remain sceptical of such promises, especially after the government wriggled its way out of mandated indexation by turning to one-time payments in recent years when inflation was high. Any increase in future pension payouts will depend on how the government divides the new savings between the federal budget and the pension system.

Several other problems remain unresolved. First, large swathes of citizens eligible for early pensions have been left untouched, in particular those working in hazardous conditions, such as miners and members of the military and security services. Second, the government has not dealt with the country’s outsize informal sector and the millions of workers who do not pay into the pension system at all. Crucially, the proposed changes do nothing to stimulate Russia’s underdeveloped alternatives to its main pay-as-you-go pension system, the result of a widespread distrust of pension funds and cash savings.


Whether the age rise will improve the lot of average people remains to be seen. With the change beginning in 2019, many will have little time to plan. Those caught in the transition may encounter trouble staying employed: job-retraining programmes are underdeveloped and age discrimination in hiring is widespread.

Mass protests followed the last major changes to the pension system in 2005, when the government turned a raft of benefits for pensioners into cash payments that for many did not nearly add up to the lost entitlements. Yet sustained unrest this time is unlikely. The middle-aged workers who are most affected tend to be passive and risk-averse.

The Kremlin has also been careful to distance Mr Putin from the plans, placing the blame instead on Dmitry Medvedev, the prime minister. This may leave the president room to play the saviour, perhaps by introducing an amendment softening the proposal. Regardless, the move is certain to deepen distrust of the authorities. For many, like Alexander Mikhalev, who makes watersports goods in Perm, where male life-expectancy is just 63 years, it is a sign that he can rely only on himself. “I’ll work as long as my health allows it,” he says. “I don’t expect any gifts from fate, and what’s more not from the state.”


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  #546  
Old 07-01-2018, 09:51 PM
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RUSSIA

https://www.yahoo.com/news/russian-w...034759748.html

Quote:
Russian women fear later-life hardship from pension reform

Spoiler:
Moscow (AFP) - Russian government plans to raise the pension age have sparked a rare outpouring of anger, not least among women who say it will cause hardship at a stage of life when they already struggle to work.

On the day the first football fans descended on Russia for the World Cup, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev announced plans to increase the age by eight years to 63 for women and five years to 65 for men.

Critics immediately complained that with men's life expectancy at 66, many may not live long enough to get their pensions.

But Russian women are angry for another reason: once in middle age, they will struggle to find work to tide them over for the extra years without a pension.

"It's very hard to find a job as a woman over a certain age. Women are scared of being left without a pension or a job," said Muscovite Tatiana Volochkova, 57.

She receives a state pension of 17,000 rubles ($269) but continues to work as an accountant.

Many women say the eight-year rise in their retirement age is disproportionate.

"A gradual reform is probably necessary but not with such a big difference (in the rise) between men and women," Volochkova said.

- Removing the safety net -

Valentina Zholkina, 44, has been unsuccessfully looking for a job in Moscow for two years.

The company she used to work for shut down while she was on maternity leave. Now she says employers are put off by her age.

"In private, they say that after a certain age, it's not right for women to sit behind a banking counter," she said.

Zholkina said that older men can take temporary physical work if they are short of money.

But older women struggle to get employed even in low-paid jobs. Receiving a pension at 55, she said, at least gave them a safety net.

- All yours, Babushka -

Anna Nesterova, a 50 year-old Moscow-based designer, said the pension reform could also affect young families as Russian grandmothers play a larger role in bringing up children than in the West.

"People have a choice either to send their child to nursery or leave them with the grandmother. Many still choose the family option," she told AFP.

Others say grandmothers sitting at home with children is a thing of the past.

"Babushkas (grandmas) are modern now. We don't want to sacrifice all our time looking after children," said 67-year-old pensioner Antonina, who refused to give her last name.

But she agreed that an eight-year increase is too much.

"In Russian families, everything depends on women. You need to balance work and family," she said. "Sixty-three is very high."

- 'Huge' problem -

Alyona Popova, a women's rights activist who runs an organisation to support women professionally, said attitudes to older women in Russia are "very different" from those in the West.

"We have quite a sexist society. People often think female pensioners should be sitting at home with grandchildren" -- a legacy of the Soviet system, she said.

Some women meanwhile are scared of being replaced by younger ones, she said.

"Many women, often former teachers, come to us saying they can't find a job and have no money because they spent it on their children or grandchildren."

She said the reform will hit women and the poor hardest.

Paris-based Russian analyst Tatiana Stanovaya said Russians see an early pension as a "kind of compensation for social injustice".

"People are ready to put up with a lot during their life, including the limitation of political rights, and see this as a kind of well-earned social victory."

- Petition to Putin -

President Vladimir Putin's sky-high approval rating dropped after the pension proposal.

In a rare show of public anger, over 2.5 million Russians signed an online petition asking him to drop the reform.

"Protests in Russia are starting," said Boris Kravchenko, the chairman of the trade union that launched the petition.

He said his organisation has applied for protest permits in 70 cities from this weekend, despite its loyalty to the Kremlin.

No protests have been called in cities hosting World Cup football matches, where they are banned.

The analyst Stanovaya agreed Russia needs a pension reform but said authorities underestimated this and have a "communication problem".

"They only think about how to sell it to the people in order to avoid protests."
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  #547  
Old 07-02-2018, 10:11 AM
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RUSSIA

https://www.seattletimes.com/busines...for-men-women/

Quote:
Russians rally against raising pension ages for men, women
Spoiler:
MOSCOW (AP) — Opponents of the Russian government’s proposal to raise the eligibility ages for pensions are holding demonstrations throughout the country.

Several hundred people held an unsanctioned rally in the Pacific port city of Vladivostok. Authorized rallies also took place Sunday in the Far East and Siberia, as well as in western Russia. No cities hosting the soccer World Cup were affected.

Russia’s Cabinet sent parliament a proposal last month to gradually bring the pension age for men from 60 to 65 and to increase it from 55 to 63 for women. The average pension is 14,000 rubles ($230) a month.

The issue spans an unusually wide swath of Russian politics. Rallies were organized by the Communist Party, the liberal Yabloko party and the organization of Alexei Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s most vehement foe.
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Old 07-15-2018, 06:55 PM
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INDIA

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/na...68/616765.html
Quote:
AG for raising SC judges' retirement age from 65 to 68
Only 22 judges against sanctioned strength of 31 in SC which has 54,013 cases pending

Spoiler:
Amid concerns over a huge number of vacancies in the Supreme Court, Attorney General KK Venugopal has requested the government to consider increasing the age of retirement of top court judges from 65 years to 68 years.
At present, there are only 22 judges against sanctioned strength of 31 judges in the Supreme Court which had a pendency of 54,013 cases as on May 4, 2018.
With three more judges, including Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra, set to retire by December, the vacancy situation in the top court is likely to get worse, particularly due to collegium's inability to clear names for elevation in the last three meetings.
Speaking at a Supreme Court Bar Association function to bid farewell to Justice AK Goel on Friday, the Attorney General urged the government to increase judges retirement age, saying "it will be in the interest of the justice delivery system".
Venugopal also favoured raising the age of retirement of high court judges from 62 years to 65 years.
"It is my sincere hope that the Government of India will look into this issue and raise it to say, 65 for the judge of High Court and 68 for judges of Supreme Court. That will be in the interest of the justice delivery system," the top law officer of the Centre said.
The Attorney General's suggestion is in tune with the recommendations of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Personnel, Public Grievances and Law and Justice, which had in its 96th report favored increasing judges retirement age.
The retirement age of Supreme Court Judges should be increased to 67 years and that of High Court Judges should be increased to 65 years, the report - tabled in Parliament earlier this year - had recommended, saying this would help in retaining the existing judges and thereby reducing judicial vacancies as well as the pendency of cases.
Venugopal said Justice Goel could not accomplish many of his innovative ideas and plans and in the past four-five months he was going at a "great speed" and delivered several landmark verdicts.
"A judge takes time to evolve and by the time he or she is in a position to put innovative thoughts to practice, comes the retirement age. This could have been avoided if the age of retirement was not 62 for high court judge and 65 for Supreme Court judges. That is because a judge has to evolve over the years. He has to have vast experience as an advocate. When he becomes a judge, he has to sit on different benches doing different subjects so that is an expert in each one," the Attorney General said.
"Finally, the judge is elevated to the Supreme Court. In SC it is only when he presides that he is able to hold a sway in regard to the innovative thoughts that he has. By then, it would be time to say goodbye," Venugopal lamented.

https://www.business-standard.com/ar...0900012_1.html
Quote:
Letter to BS: Raise retirement age of judges, says Attorney-General
It is time for a review of the retirement age and the retirement process in the government and the public sector

Spoiler:
The plea — to raise the retirement age of judges — made by Attorney-General (AG) of India K K Venugopal (pictured) in his speech at a farewell function organised in honor of retiring Supreme Court Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel on July 6, did not get much media attention. According to Venugopal, the present retirement age of 62 for High Court judges and 65 for the apex court was a blow to several judges who did not get enough time on the bench to implement their innovative thoughts.

By default, the retirement age in India in the government and public sectors has been linked to employment opportunities, career progression and in certain cases, like in the case of the apex court, an ‘equal opportunity for all’ to reach the highest level. This convention has ended up in the unenviable situation described by the AG, wherein individuals reaching certain high positions do not get much time to do what they always wanted to do. The low retirement age has also been creating a captive talent pool, trained and prepared in the public sector for recruitment by the private sector.

ALSO READ: UP govt mulls 'compulsory retirement' for 'unfit' employees in their 50s

It is time for a review of the retirement age and the retirement process in the government and the public sector. The first appointment itself could be delinked from age and made for tenures of 10, 20 or 30 years, further extendable by five years at a time, based on the performance and need, subject to fitness tests. Top level appointments — for the High Court and the Supreme Court and for the post of chief justice, chief secretaries in states, heads of statutory bodies and public sector undertakings including public sector banks — could be initially for a tenure of three years extendable on merits. Sector-specific talent pools can also be considered.

M G Warrier Mumbai


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Old 07-15-2018, 06:56 PM
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POLAND

http://www.abajournal.com/news/artic...urt_retirement

Quote:
Poland's top judge defies law that lowers retirement age

Spoiler:
Despite Polish legislation that requires a third of its Supreme Court justices to retire based on their ages, they showed up to work this week.

“I’m doing this to defend the rule of law and to testify to the truth about the line between the Constitution and the violation of the Constitution,” Chief Justice Małgorzata Gersdorf said on the courthouse steps, the New York Times reports. “I hope that legal order will return to Poland.”

The new law sets mandatory retirement for judges at age 65. The limit was previously 70, according to the Times, and the law could result in 27 of 72 Supreme Court justices leaving. Critics say that it harms post-Communist democratic success and aligns Warsaw with Hungary, which is facing European Union sanctions over rule of law violations, the Guardian reports.

There’s also a concern that the Law and Justice Party, which was the party of President Andrzej Duda, will use the new law to intimidate judges, according to the New York Times.

Supporters say that the new law makes the courts more accountable, the Washington Post reports. Thousands of people protested the new law Tuesday evening, according to the article.

The American Bar Association in 2017 sent a lawyer delegation to Poland to monitor the situation and support efforts that would preserve an independent judiciary.

The Polish government on Wednesday did not prevent Gersdorf and the other justices affected by the new law from entering the building, according to the New York Times. Józef Iwulski, the justice who the government named as Gersdorf’s successor, told the newspaper that Duda did not appoint him to the position or give him any duties.

“What will happen is what I predicted at the very beginning,” said Lech Wałęsa, Poland’s former president, in a radio interview quoted in the article. “There will be a civil war, there’s nothing we can do about it. This is the path of civil war. I’d like to avoid it.” Wałęsa in the 1980s helped break down the country’s Communist government.


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Old 07-15-2018, 06:58 PM
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RUSSIA

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/v...oposal-n889771

Quote:
Vladimir Putin's popularity dips amid retirement age proposal
The proportion of Russians who said they would vote for the country's president fell by eight percentage points within a week
Spoiler:
TVER, Russia — President Vladimir Putin's popularity has taken a hit amid a controversial proposal to raise Russia's retirement age.

The plan was unveiled against the backdrop of host country Russia’s exciting run to the quarterfinals of soccer's World Cup, with some critics accusing the Kremlin of trying to bury the news by announcing it during the tournament.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the government wants to raise the retirement age for men up to 65 from 60 by 2028, and for women up to 63 from 55 by 2034.

The announcement came on June 14, the same day that Russia beat Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening game of the World Cup.

Image: Russia v Saudi ArabiaRussian fans celebrate a goal against Saudi Arabia on June 14.Clive Rose / Getty Images
The proportion of Russians who said they would vote for Putin fell by eight percentage points within a week — with 54 percent supporting him, compared to 62 percent beforehand, according to the FOM pollster.

FOM said Putin's approval rating also dropped six percentage points to 69 percent from 75 percent. State pollster VTsIOM showed a 5 percentage point drop.

Image: Russia v Saudi ArabiaRussian President Vladimir Putin speaks during the opening ceremony of the World Cup on June 14.Getty Images
“The president is aware of the [people’s] reaction to the proposals and parameters,” Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said on Friday.

Many Russians, especially women in their 40s and 50s, say they’re worried about trying to find jobs when they will be aged 60 and older.

Russians staged small rallies to protest the proposed changes to pensions in several cities not hosting the World Cup.

Demonstrations were primarily organized by supporters of Alexei Navalny, a prominent Kremlin critic, but other political groups were behind some protests.

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Sasha Aleksandrov, a 47-year old driver, said he attended a rally against the pension changes in Tver, a city on the Volga River about 110 miles northwest of Moscow. It drew a couple hundred people, according to organizers.

“Trying to find a job at age 50 in Tver is really difficult, and even after 40 it’s really difficult. But at 60 — well, I think that’s currently really impossible,” he said, echoing comments from others in the city who spoke with NBC News.

Russia’s current retirement age is low compared to other countries. Economists say reform is necessary in order to offset the double-strain on the country’s economy of a growing number of retirees combined with the lower birth rates seen after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

Critics of the plan have also pointed out that the new retirement age would about the same as life expectancy for many Russians.

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Still, Putin’s approval remains relatively high compared to other politicians. It's also possible the government could soften the proposals before a final decision is made.

“Together with existing sweeteners, concessions on the reform will prevent it causing major political difficulties — Putin will remain popular and firmly in control,” said Jason Bush, a senior analyst at Eurasia Group. “But by illustrating the fragility of his public support, the latest poll numbers will reinforce the existing trend for policy and refocus onto spending programs to address domestic social and economic issues — now a more effective way to rally public support than aggressive policies abroad.”

Russia was eliminated from the World Cup by Croatia on Saturday.


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