French unions block rail lines, oil refineries

Second day of strikes aimed at disrupting reforms to pension system

French unions are blocking rail roads and oil refineries in the second consecutive day of strikes to protest government plans to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. Over one million people took to the street on Tuesday. Strikers also halted work at eight of France’s 12 oil refineries, spurring fears of fuel shortages. But the blockades seem to be growing less popular, as turnout dropped significantly in the second day of strikes. Meanwhile, Nicholas Sarkozy, the unpopular French president, is holding firm on his reform plan, which, he says, it essential to avoid the French pension system going bankrupt.


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