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Strikes threaten French fuel supply

Strikes threaten French fuel supply
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The French government has called for calm as industrial action against pension reform threatens fuel supplies.

A strike in the oil sector has reduced output at all but one of the country’s 12 refineries.

A number of petrol stations have reported incidents of panic buying.

Transport Minister Dominique Bussereau assured French motorists that there was enough fuel for the coming weeks.

Hakim Bellouz of the Cfdt union wants President Sarkozy’s pension bill thrown out.

He said:“They have to revoke the reform, then we can have a proper debate and make serious suggestions, acceptable to all; or they can call a referendum, that’s what we are waiting for, then all of France can have a vote.”

There are signs that the rail strike is beginning to run out of steam.

French Railways SNCF said that 20 percent of its staff failed to turn up to work on Thursday, down from 25 percent on Wednesday.

Almost all international trains have been running and half of the country’s domestic services are back on track.

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