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France on brink of fuel shortage as strike bites: Sarkozy sends in police to break fuel blockade

London Evening Standard
Oct 15, 2010

Strikes spread to all France’s refineries today, raising the prospect of a nationwide fuel shortage.

On the fourth day of protests over the government’s planned change to the retirement age, fuel supplies to Paris’s main airports were cut. Pipeline firm Trapil said the capital’s main airport, Charles de Gaulle, could run out of fuel as early as next week.

The transport minister authorised oil companies to use some reserves after haulage companies complained it was hard to find fuel.

Dominique Bussereau said the country’s stocks of fuel meant there was no reason for drivers to fear a shortage. But a union spokesman said: “A fuel shortage can be expected in the coming days” and that “not one drop of oil” has been produced at the plants since Tuesday morning.

Full article here  [1]

Sarkozy sends in police to break fuel blockade

Oct 15, 2010

President Nicolas Sarkozy dispatched riot police Friday to reopen fuel depots blocked by strikes against pension reform, as the pipeline to Paris airports was cut and all of France’s oil refineries shut down.

But even as officers forced open the barricades at some depots, strikers threw up new pickets at other fuel distribution centres across the country to fight against moves to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.

Students protested outside the prime minister’s offices and took to the streets in demonstrations across France, where more than 300 schools were hit by a fourth consecutive day of blockades or other actions, officials said.

Full article here [2]

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