France's Les Republicains party sacks deputy leader
PARIS (Reuters) - France's conservative right-wing Les Republicains party on Saturday sacked Aurelien Pradie as deputy party leader, after Pradie failed to join the party in backing President Emmanuel Macron's plan to raise the retirement age.
Macron wants the French to retire at 64 instead of 62, a policy he says would save France's creaking state pension system from collapse but which has sparked protests across the country.
Support from Les Republicains is crucial as that party holds the majority in the French Senate, which is where the planned government legislation now goes after initial scrutiny at the Assemblee Nationale lower house of parliament.
"I have dismissed from his role as party executive vice-president Mr Aurelien Pradie," said party leader Eric Ciotti in a statement.
"The positions he had consistently taken up were no longer in line with the values of coherence, unity and our rallying together which should guide the Republic's right-wing."
Macron says raising the retirement age would also ensure younger generations will not carry the burden of financing the old-age of the "baby boomer" generation.
However, many in France - where there is already anger over rising living costs - are against these plans to make people work longer, and the move has faced opposition from both the far-right and left wing political parties.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta, Nicolas Delame, Elizabeth Pineau; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)