Across the channel, French truck drivers have joined both private and public sector workers currently on strike. The nationwide strike has been a reaction to the French government’s plan to reform the pension system. The new system would raise the national retirement age to sixty-two and the full state pension age from sixty-five to sixty-seven.
Last Saturday, on the fifth day of protests, 825,000 people took to the streets, police reported. However, unions put the figure at 2.5 million to three million. Go-slow protests and blockades from the trucking industry has put the squeeze on fuel supplies across France. An industry representative stated,”at least 1,500 stations have run out of at least one fuel product or are totally dry.” The spectre of fuel shortages has created a wave of panic buying from the public.
The lower house of the French parliament, the National Assembly, has already approved the reform. Further strike action have been planned for today as the country awaits the Senate’s final decision tomorrow.