French president Emmanuel Macron’s unpopular plan to raise France’s retirement age from 62 to 64 has been enacted into law.
It comes a day after the country’s constitutional body approved the change.
Mr Macron’s signature and publication in the Official Journal of the French Republic on Saturday allowed the law to enter into force.
The authorised changes will start being implemented in September, French government spokesperson Olivier Veran said.
On Friday, the Constitutional Council rejected some parts of the government’s pension legislation but approved the higher minimum retirement age, which was central to Mr Macron’s plan and the focus of opponents’ protests.
The nine-member council’s decision capped months of tumultuous debates in parliament and fervour in the streets.
Spontaneous demonstrations took place in Paris and across the country after the ruling.
France’s main labour unions, which has organised 12 nationwide protests since January in hopes of defeating the plan, have vowed to continue fighting until it is withdrawn.
They called for another mass protest on May 1st, which is International Workers’ Day.
The government said requiring people to work two years more before qualifying for a pension is needed to keep the pension system afloat as the population ages.
But opponents proposed raising taxes on the wealthy or employers instead – and said the change threatens a hard-won social safety net.
Opinion polls show Mr Macron’s popularity has plunged to its lowest level in four years.
The centrist president, who made raising the retirement age a priority of his second term, plans to make a televised national address on Monday evening, his office said.
“The president’s remarks are very much awaited” and will seek to appease tensions in the country and explain decisions that have been made in the past months regarding the pension reform, Mr Veran said.
Mr Macron was first elected in 2017 on a promise to make France’s economy more competitive, including by making people work longer.
Since then, his government has made it easier to hire and fire workers, cut business taxes and made it more difficult for the jobless to claim benefits.