News / Europe

French Port Strike Enters 3rd Week Ahead of New Protests

Tankers wait off Fos-sur-Mer, southern France, as ships are prevented from unloading their cargo due to the strike at French Marseille port's Fos-Lavera, 07 Oct. 2010
Tankers wait off Fos-sur-Mer, southern France, as ships are prevented from unloading their cargo due to the strike at French Marseille port's Fos-Lavera, 07 Oct. 2010

A strike at a key French Mediterranean oil port entered its third week Monday, forcing a partial shutdown of a major refinery as the country braces for nationwide protests set for Tuesday.

Workers in the country's top oil port, Fos-Lavera, carried their protest into a 15th day, blocking 56 vessels from off-loading.

Total's La Mede refinery has started to shut down as crude oil supplies to La Mede and other refineries began to dry up. The government started to transport fuel by rail and road to avoid shortages around the country.

Unions have not scheduled any new talks on their protest against port reforms.

Meanwhile, workers in Paris and other major French cities are set to launch an open-ended strike Tuesday to protest pension and retirement reforms championed by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Mr. Sarkozy's pension reform bill, already passed by the lower house of parliament, awaits action by the Senate later Monday.

The legislation, which raises the age for a full retirement pension to 67 from the current 65, is turning into one of the most contentious issues of the Sarkozy presidency. Huge worker protests have paralyzed major French cities recently.

Last week the upper house of parliament passed a provision raising the minimum retirement age to 62 from 60.

During that debate, Mr. Sarkozy made a small concession in the pension bill to middle-age women who have given up work to raise children. But he has vowed to push forward with the reforms, saying they are critical to the country's fiscal health.

Meanwhile, transport officials in Paris are warning of major commuter disruptions Tuesday, while the national rail operator (SNCF) says only one in three high-speed trains are expected to run. Aviation authorities say air flights could be cut by 50 percent.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

You May Like

Ukraine Purges Interior Ministry Leadership With Pro-Russian Ties

Interior Minister Avakov says 91 people 'in positions of leadership' have been fired, including 8 generals found to have links to past pro-Moscow governments More

US Airlines Point to Additional Problems of any Ebola Travel Ban

Airline officials note that even under travel ban, they may not be able to determine where passenger set out from, as there are no direct flights from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone More

Nigerian President to Seek Another Term

Goodluck Jonathan has faced intense criticism for failing to stop Boko Haram militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid