Europe

French Senate Passes Retirement Bill

Oct. 26: Students shout slogans during a demonstration in front of the Senate in Paris. Nationwide protests and strikes over government moves to change the retirement age from 60 to 62 have disrupted French life and the country's economy for weeks, but the finance minister has declared that the slowing protest movement has reached a "turning point."

Oct. 26: Students shout slogans during a demonstration in front of the Senate in Paris. Nationwide protests and strikes over government moves to change the retirement age from 60 to 62 have disrupted French life and the country's economy for weeks, but the finance minister has declared that the slowing protest movement has reached a "turning point."  (AP)

PARIS -- France's Senate has given its final approval to a bill to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62, a reform that has sparked weeks of strikes and street protests.

The Senate approved the final text of the bill 177 to 151 on Tuesday, marking its second-to-last hurdle in parliament. The bill goes before the lower house on Wednesday and is almost certain to pass there, too.

The finance minister has declared that the slowing protest movement has reached a "turning point." Garbage collectors in southern France have gone back to work to tackle two weeks' worth of piled-up trash, and some oil workers have deserted their picket lines.