Thousands protest in Russia against plans to raise pension age

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Moscow, Sep 2 (IANS) Thousands protested on Sunday across Russia against government plans to raise the national pension age, after heeding the call to demonstrate from Russia’s Communist Party and other left-wing organisations.

President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday softened his stance on the reforms in a bid to quell protests, saying the retirement age for women would only rise from 55 to 60 instead of 63, as initially planned, while for men, the age would increase from 60 to 65, Efe news reported.

Communist Party leader Gennady Zyuganov spoke at the rally, asserting that “there is no confidence in the government and there will be even less if they approve the reforms”, which he described as “cannibalistic”.

The changes have been given a preliminary green-light by the State Duma, Russia’s lower parliament, but have provoked widespread outrage across the country.

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Opinion polling has shown that about 90 per cent of Russians are against increasing the retirement age.

According to Moscow Police, around 6,000 people took part in the demonstration while the organisers estimated that around 100,000 people participated.

–IANS

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