Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sarkozy: Call off Strike for Sake of Passengers

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Sarkozy: Call off Strike for Sake of Passengers

Article excerpt

Byline: SAM LYON

FRANCE was today braced for a second day of disruption as angrytransport workers continued strike action against planned pension reforms.

As rail and bus services were crippled, President Nicolas Sarkozy called for aspeedy end to the dispute. His spokesman said the action ought to stop "in theinterest of passengers".

Hopes of a breakthrough were raised after Mr Sarkozy said conditions for talkshad been met.

His spokesman David Martinon said: "The president of the republic has alwaysconsidered there is more to be gained for all parties in negotiation than inconflict." Details of threeway talks with companies to thrash out a deal hadyet to be worked out.

The streets of Paris were jammed with mopeds, bicycles, cars and pedestriansyesterday as frustrated commuters tried to get to work without the Metro andbuses.

The strike began on Tuesday night and follows a previous walkout on 18 October.Prime Minister Francois Fillon said the government was outlining a deal tounions to stop a dispute that was "annoying millions of French people". …

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