Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

France Hit by Mass Walkout over Pensions

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

France Hit by Mass Walkout over Pensions

Article excerpt

Byline: Peter Allen in Paris

BRITISH travellers in France faced travel chaos today during countrywide protests against President Nicolas Sarkozy's pension reforms.

More than 400 flights to and from Britain were expected to be cancelled because of strikes by air traffic controllers.

This was expected to have a knockon effect on other countries, with carriers having to divert, causing congestion and delays.

SNCF, France's national railway, said that half of its high-speed and regional trains will be cancelled, causing huge problems for Britons returning from holidays or on business.

Although the Eurostar from London to Paris was not affected, the French capital's metro and bus services were crippled.

It is the second mass walk-out over plans to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. More than a million people took to the streets last time and 232 demonstrations are expected in cities and towns today. Only one teacher in two was expected to turn up for classes in schools and universities and even judges were expected to stay at home. …

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