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ug官方网站:French strike turns up heat on Macron

ug官方网站:French strike turns up heat on Macron

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,Oil crunch: A motorist is seen refuelling at a petrol station in France. The strike in the country comes on the back of weeks-long blockades at refineries and fuel depots that are still causing shortages at close to a quarter of the country’s filling stations. — AFP

PARIS: French rail, energy and other key workers were striking on Tuesday to demand a bigger share of corporate profits through higher wages, raising pressure on president Emmanuel Macron to take further steps to ease the pain of surging inflation.

Thousands of people joined demonstrations in cities across France, leading to some disruption on regional trains, with around half circulating.

International traffic was mostly unaffected, though four Eurostar services between Paris and London were cancelled.

The strike comes on the back of weeks-long blockades at refineries and fuel depots that are still causing shortages at close to a quarter of the country’s filling stations and as many French people prepare to set off for the school vacation starting this weekend.

The eight unions and student organisations that called for the walkout oppose the government’s decision to force some employees at sites owned by oil majors TotalEnergies SE and ExxonMobil Corp back on the job to get gas to motorists again.

Tuesday’s walkouts add to a list of challenges for Macron, who lost his absolute majority in the lower house of parliament in June elections and whose government looks set to struggle to win enough backing to push through its budget bill for next year.

This has forced it to resort to a controversial fast-track decree process.

Lingering strikes at Electricite de France SA, forcing the country’s biggest power producer to reduce output and delaying some maintenance on nuclear reactors, are raising the risk of electricity shortages this winter, power-grid operator Reseau de Transport d’Electricite warned.

During the march in Paris, French television showed a group of protesters attacking a BMW AG dealership before police in riot gear moved in.

Inflation in excess of 6% and record profits at oil companies following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have driven support for industrial action amid increased economic anxiety, with a poll released on Sunday by Ifop for Le Journal du Dimanche newspaper showing 82% of those surveyed thought Macron wasn’t doing enough to tackle soaring consumer prices.

CGT leader Philippe Martinez is demanding a �300 (US$295 or RM1,394) rise in the gross monthly minimum wage to �2,000 (RM9,295).

The state has spent more than �100bil (RM464.7bil) on measures to shield households and businesses from the energy crisis, and early moves to cap electricity and gas prices before the war in Ukraine have helped keep the country’s inflation rate below that in neighbouring European countries.

Yet, the government has warned its largess won’t last forever, with a general fuel discount due to end at the start of next year, and the limit on regulated energy price hikes to increase to as much as 15%.

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