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French Workers Strike Over Pension Reforms


Thousands of French workers have marched through Paris and other cities protesting planned government pension reforms as fishermen continued protests against soaring fuel costs.

Police say about 30,000 protesters marched in the French capital and tens of thousands in other cities protesting changes that will require them to work 41 years to get a pension, an increase of one year. Trade union officials put the number of protesters nationwide at 700,000.

The protests hobbled train traffic. But subway service in Paris has been largely unaffected.

Meanwhile, fishermen rejected as inadequate a new government package aimed at compensating them for soaring fuel prices and continued blocking entry to some ports.

A nine-day strike by transportation workers last November cost the French economy an estimated $400 million a day.

Strikes in 1995 forced then-President Jacques Chirac to back down from reform plans.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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