Strike action continues in France – is it safe to travel? FCO issue update | Travel News | Travel

Strike action continues in France – is it safe to travel? FCO issue update | Travel News | Travel 1228684

Unions and the government held meetings on Tuesday to discuss whether adjustments on pension reform could halt strikes which have raged on since 5 December. While small progress has been made, a mass transportation strike is expected today with one union representing air traffic controllers joining the action.

The demonstrations which took place last month saw thousands of public sector employees march in cities across France, resulting in traffic jams throughout the country and the streets rife with riot police.

So with another demonstration on the horizon – is it safe to Travel to France?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) have issued an update to their France travel advice, highlighting the widespread demonstrations planned across the country today.

“Widespread demonstrations are planned across France. You should avoid demonstrations and follow the advice of the local authorities,” the FCO said.

“This is primarily affecting transport and public services, with ongoing cancellations and severe delays to train, metro, bus and tram services.

“Industrial action by hauliers on some major roads may also cause blockages or delays to road travel.”

The FCO has advised Travels to or within France to check information online before travelling.

READ MORE: Ryanair luggage: Secret loophole could see you paying lower baggage fees

Mr Macron has said his government will maintain the legal retirement age of 62, but some are concerned they will lose the benefits of their current plans.

There are also worries the proposed financial incentives may mean some people work for longer, for less money.

Since the protests began, the proposed reforms to the pension system have been fought by the public – but there may be a light at the end of the tunnel.

On Saturday, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe offered a concession to unions in an attempt to end nationwide strikes.

However, the opposition gave the announcement a scathing welcome. Marine Le Pen, leader of the rightwing Rassemblement national (RN) called the compromise a “dishonest” negotiating tactic and “obvious manipulation”

She wrote in a Twitter post: “So I was right. The pivot age existed for the sole purpose of being withdrawn and to sweeten the pill of a reform that will make millions of retirees poorer. Blindingly obvious manipulation!”

“You introduce something that’s unacceptable and then you withdraw it. Nothing justifies this reform,” she later told the News channel BFMTV.


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