Dockers in the French port of Marseille have agreed to end a strike over creeping privatisation. Port officials hope operations will start getting back to normal from Monday. There are also signs that an agreement could soon be reached over a separate dispute disrupting oil terminals. Unless that row is resolved, refineries such as BP could find themselves in serious difficulty from Wednesday.
However, the dispute over government plans to sell off a large chunk of its holding in the SNCM ferry company operating between Marseille and Corsica shows no sign of coming to an end. It is thought a bomb blast at a customs office on the island last night is directly linked to the dispute. Corsican nationalist militants have voiced their opposition to the government’s plans. They have even threatened to target any private companies seeking to buy into SNCM.