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May 27, 2010

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Steel workers from the nearby ArcelorMittal plant take part in a demonstration in Marseille, France, on Thursday. Strikes across France delayed flights, closed schools, and frustrated commuters as workers protested government plans to raise the retirement age past 60, one of the lowest even in Europe. President Nicolas Sarkozy says retiring so young is now untenable given growing life spans, but unions see his planned reforms to France's over-stretched pension system as yet another blow to Europe's social model.

PHOTO: Claude Paris/AP

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