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Readers comment on pension reform and energy policies in Europe

Widespread strikes countered French government pension reforms, while in Germany, the extension of nuclear plant lifespans is being met with skepticism. Our readers weighed in on both topics.

People march during a protest, in Marseille, southern France, Tuesday Sept. 7, 2010

An estimated 2.5 million people marched in France

The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

French workers strike over pension reforms

Australia has proposed by the Labour government of Ms. Julia Gillard to increase the age of pensions for retirement from 65 to 67 in the future. There has been no real opposition to this proposal like in France. The same reasons are given by Australia like in France such as an aging population and life expectancy. -- Stuart, Australia

Unless the strikers can come up with a way to pay for their pensions, 62 is early. What are they planning to do, sit around and wait to die? -- Marga, US

The retirement age should be raised because unaffordable benefits now will transfer the financial burden to the upcoming generations. We will rely more and more on low wage manufacturing for affordable products, further exacerbating the problem. -- Steve, France

The unions in France should fight against this reactionary measure and do what ever is necessary to stop the government from doing this disgraceful act against the people. The president of France is similar to Adolphe Thiers who in 1871 ordered the French troops to eliminate the working class of Paris. What the French government is doing should be condemned by the working class every where in the world. -- Stan, Canada

German energy policy

It really would be the greenest energy policy, relatively speaking, if the remaining energy in the spent nuclear fuel was used for something. That would reduce the toxicity of spent fuel. Anything else would be irresponsible. -- Gene, US

Nein! Non! No! The decision is not good for our planet and Chancellor Merkel should know better, being a scientist. But it good to see some compromise within the government debate. -- Stuart, Australia

I cannot believe the German people are so blind on this subject. The world is facing a climate catastrophe and needs to reduce CO2 emissions as soon as possible. Germany, like Australia, has high CO2 emissions but believes that renewables are the answer. Please do the math; no country, including Germany, has ever reduced CO2 emissions using renewables. The only successful non-carbon technology is nuclear power which your neighbors France, Switzerland and Sweden have successfully used to reduce CO2 emissions. Facts, not fantasy, must drive decision-making. -- Tom, Australia

Germany must have a continuous reliable source of electricity and the present nuclear plants should run for their designed lifetimes. There should not be any further construction of fossil fuel power stations unless they replace older ones that have reached the end of their most efficient lifespan. -- Roland, New Zealand

I think Germany needs to review their energy policy, now that the country is not so vulnerable to geopolitical controls on natural gas. Natural gas with nuclear base load is your best option until another superior source evolves. -- George, Canada

Compiled by Stuart Tiffen
Editor: Chuck Penfold

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