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French Workers Block Cars Outside Airports in Pension Protest

French students demonstrate in Paris against the government plan on pensions, 4 Nov 2010

French airline workers blocked traffic outside several airports Thursday to protest a new law that has raised the country's minimum retirement age from 60 to 62.

About 100 protesters gathered on a road outside Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport, carrying flags and blocking cars from reaching one of the terminals.

Airline workers held similar protests outside airports in the cities of Toulouse and Nantes.

Passengers were forced to leave their vehicles a distance from the airports and walk to the terminals with their luggage.

The French parliament gave final approval last week to President Nicolas Sarkozy's pension reform plan, which also will raise the age for a full pension from 65 to 67. He is expected to sign it into law by the middle of this month.

French labor unions held a series of nationwide strikes and mass rallies against the plan in the weeks before parliament approved it. The protests have subsided in recent days.

Mr. Sarkozy has said pension reform is necessary to prevent the system from going bankrupt.

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