Strike extends to buses and trains
The strikes at French refineries, which have been going on for about three weeks, are to spread on Tuesday to the railroads, Paris public transport, schools and daycare centers, and the public sector. Several unions and left-wing opposition politicians have called for cross-industry protests against high prices and planned pension reform in the midst of the tense situation.
This was triggered by the government's intervention in strikes at refineries that have been going on for some time. The government has ordered personnel to duty because there has been a fuel shortage at about 30 percent of gas stations for more than a week now. The unions are demanding respect for the right to strike, as well as higher wages, pensions and social benefits.
Already on Sunday, there had been a demonstration in Paris against high prices and "climate passivity" in which about 30,000 people had participated. The left-wing opposition alliance Nupes is hoping for pressure from the streets on the government of President Emmanuel Macron, who wants to raise the retirement age from 62 to 65. There is also displeasure because many people can no longer reliably fill up their tanks and are afraid they won't be able to get to work. In addition, plans for the fall vacations, which begin this weekend, are being thrown into disarray. The Elysée Palace is therefore worried that the situation could spark protests similar to those of the yellow vests in 2018 and 2019, when the increase in fuel taxes triggered widespread social protests.
Image by Marie SjÃ¶din