French President Nicolas Sarkozy's proposal to reform the pension system would gradually raise the retirement age from 60 to 62, but even that slight change faces strong resistance. An overhaul to eliminate the system's deficit is expected to be the last big reform Sarkozy will attempt before the next presidential election, and the initiative will be a genuine test of his ability to drive change, according to The Economist. "With his popularity languishing near an all-time low, he may gain nothing from sticking firmly to his plans despite the howl of protests, but he has almost nothing to lose either," The Economist notes.

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