Some fuel supplies were restored in France today after police moved in on strikers blocking three oil depots to move them on. The picketers left peacefully, but there were reports of them returning later when the police left, and blocking other depots elsewhere.
The brief respite allowed tankers in and some petrol stations that had run dry were getting fresh supplies in the early hours. But France’s 12 refineries remain closed.
Air travellers are struggling, with international and domestic services cancelled or delayed from Paris’s twin airports Orly and Charles de Gaulle.
This morning picketers closed the Port de Bouc depot near Marseille, cutting off fuel supplies to airports including and south of Lyon, and to the air force.
“Western France was facing the risk of a serious shortage so unblocking depots there had become indispensable. It will enable the resumption of normal activity”, said Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux.
Folowing Hortefeux’s statement President Nicolas Sarkozy said he was ordering police into all the blockaded depots.
However the security forces are struggling to control the student protests, that are turning violent as troublemakers infiltrate their ranks to burn cars, stone police and loot shops in a dozen cities yesterday.