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    Strike in France: chaotic week for transport ahead

    Many businesses in France have expressed fear that the strikes will lead to roadblocks and/or fuel shortages that would have a serious impact on their business during the crucial period of Christmas and New Year’s.  Credit: © Belga

    Disruptions to transport in France are expected to continue on Monday and Tuesday as a result of the ongoing strike against a government pension reform which saw major backlash last week. 

    Many businesses in France have expressed fear that the strikes will continue, which would mean a shortfall for the commercial sector, as well as roadblocks and/or fuel shortages that would have a serious impact on their business during the crucial period of Christmas and New Year’s. 

    The strikes were caused by plans to introduce a “universal system” of retirement that is meant to replace as of 2025 the 42 existing pension schemes (general, civil servants, private, special, independent, complementary… ). The French executive promises a “more just” system, whereas opponents fear a later date of retirement and lower pension. 

    On Sunday evening, Emmanuel Macron and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe met with those ministers implicated at the Elysee Palace. The conclusions of its long consultation were presented to the social partners on Monday by the High Commissioner for Retirement John-Paul Delevoye, accompanied by French Minister for Solidarity Agnes Buzyn. Philippe will give the detail of his plan on Wednesday. 

    Train traffic remained greatly reduced on Sunday. In Paris, 14 subway lines (out of 16) were closed. The SNCF railway company announced an “extremely complicated” Monday with only one high-speed train and one regional (out of five) operating around Paris. On the network of other regional trains, the company announces that three out of ten routes would operate, “mainly operated by bus”, while international traffic will be “very disrupted”.

    The Brussels Times