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France off the rails again as strikes continue

FRANCE’S railway system shut down again from last night as workers continued their rolling strikes against President Emmanuel Macron’s bid to “liberalise” the industry.

Ministers continued to talk tough, with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe telling Le Parisien newspaper yesterday that “we are determined to see this through to the end.”

But the CGT union, one of several organising the huge walkouts, expressed equal determination, warning that if nothing is resolved by June — current plans are to walk out for two days a week for three months — then the dispute would continue beyond then.

Rail workers were ready for a “marathon,” it declared.

The strikes followed a day of air travel chaos as a third of Air France flights were cancelled due to strikes for higher pay.

Rail workers are striking against attacks on their working conditions and against Mr Macron’s bid to hit an EU deadline for opening up the rail industry to competitive tendering by next year.


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