France's fuel transport blockade continues

More than 100 refineries and fuel depots in France remain blockaded today as a strike by truckers, farmers, and fishermen protesting high fuel prices continued for a fourth day (OGJ Online, Sept. 6, 2000). Both side in the negotiations appear set on hard-line positions after a government offer to cut taxes was rejected by strikers, although it appeared acceptable to union leaders.


PARIS�More than 100 refineries and fuel depots in France remain blockaded today as a strike by truckers, farmers, and fishermen protesting high fuel prices continued for a fourth day (OGJ Online, Sept. 6, 2000). Both side in the negotiations appear set on hard-line positions after a government offer to cut taxes was rejected by strikers, although it appeared acceptable to union leaders.

French Prime Minister Lionel Jospin said Wednesday night that the government could not go any further in the negotiations. The truckers, too, appeared to be digging in for a protracted battle of wills.

Fuel supplies to many service stations are running out after four days of restricted supply movements, and panic buying has drained dry many retail outlets. In most regions of the country, local authorities have been requisitioning fuel for emergency services, and rationing has been introduced in a number of areas.

Press reports early Thursday indicated that taxi and ambulance drivers were expected to join the protest and disrupt traffic in a number of cities.

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