Shortages at the Pump as Refineries Blockaded in Protest at Macron’s Reforms

France again suffered from a shortage of fuel at the pump this week as a result of union strikes and blockades imposed on refineries and fuel depots in response to President Emmanuel Macron’s controversial move to pass his pension reforms without a vote.

Just over five months after refinery unions caused widespread chaos in France by striking over demands for salary increases, unions are once again causing chaos at the pump, with 13.1 percent of all service stations reporting they have run out of petrol. or diesel. As of Tuesday.

As was the case during the October strikes, fuel availability at the pump this week also varies widely by region, with 55.8 percent of service stations in Bouches-du-Rhône experiencing total or partial outages. In total, about 34 administrative departments out of 94 in France are currently experiencing shortages, Le Figaro mentioned.

After two weeks of strikes, the government attempted to confiscate the workers and force them back to their positions in exchange for jail time or heavy fines, however, this was already met with a harsh response, with the workers going on strike. collision Outside the Foss-sur-Mer refinery in southern France. the police, in turn, Disqualified Tear gas at the workers.

The strikes were launched in response to President Emmanuel Macron’s government pushing controversial legislation to raise the retirement age from 62 to 64 through the National Assembly last week, invoking Article 49.3 of the constitution to pass the bill without a vote.

This step witnessed widespread riots and unrest, and an attempt by opposition parties to bring down the government with no-confidence measures, one of which Macron’s government managed to achieve only with nine votes.

Meanwhile, in the French capital, Paris, the CGT union of public services representing civilian garbage collectors Been voted on Tuesday to continue their strike until at least Monday of next week. The situation was exacerbated by the simultaneous strikes on the garbage incinerator facilities.

The strikes, which have lasted more than two weeks, have seen the streets of Paris littered with mountains of rubbish, and it is estimated that some 10,000 tons of rubbish piled onto the streets on Friday.

In addition to causing severe disruptions to Parisians’ daily lives, the garbage crisis has also fueled nightly riots in the capital since last Thursday when the government pushed through pension reforms with a constitutional loophole.

Long criticized for failing to keep the city clean, the socialist mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, has ordered some striking workers to be confiscated to help clean up the streets, and yet, as of Monday, more than 9,300 tons of rubbish remained on the sidewalks. .

As a result of the unsanitary conditions, concerns have been raised about potential health effects, with some experts predicting an invasion of rats into the city if the litter remains undisturbed.

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