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A still country. Strike leaves France without transport, schools and hospitals

by Ace Damon

The general strike against the reform of the reform system, which starts this Thursday in France, will touch all key sectors making it hard to get to work, leave children in school, have access to emergency services or call the fire brigade.

Called by the large trade union associations, the inter-union and inter-branch trade union, the strike will have the most impact on transport, the most mobilized sector and the first to vehemently oppose the introduction of the new reform system that wants to end the 42 pensions currently in France.

SNCF, a railway company, provides only one in 10 TGV and one in 10 regional trains, including in the Paris region, and intercity. As for Eurostar, only one in two will make trips and there will be no connection to Italy, Spain and Germany.

The stoppage at SNCF should take place at least until December 9, when workers will reevaluate their participation in the strike.

As for transport within the capital, Paris transport company RATP predicts that most metro lines will be closed except for lines 1 and 14 which are automatic but will also be closed if there are too many passengers. Buses will be reduced to one third.

With an estimated 90% strike adherence this Thursday, RATP workers will assess at the end of the day whether they continue mobilization.

Heavy truck drivers' unions also called for the strike, as did taxis and ambulances. In air transport, the strike led to the cancellation of 20% of flights on French territory and Air France canceled 30% of its domestic flights and 15% of its medium-haul flights.

In energy, this strike is added to an ongoing protest by construction workers who have been blocking refineries in France over rising fuel for vehicles essential to the sector. Thus, if refinery workers join the protests and blockages continue, there may be a shortage of gasoline and diesel throughout the country.

At EDF, the national energy company, unions have called for an unlimited strike and possible strategic power cuts for large companies and state agencies.

Two-thirds of schools are expected to close on Thursday, mostly in primary schools, and students are also on strike after young people in different parts of the country have been trying to end their lives in recent weeks because of poor living conditions. state grants.

In hospitals, especially nurses and emergency physicians will continue the strike that has lasted for months due to the deterioration of working conditions but also the impact of pension reform.

Calling the fire brigade or the police won't be an easy task either, as these two professional categories will also be on strike, and only, according to the unions, the most urgent cases.

In the private sector, lawyers have also called for a strike against the state of justice, and there may still be downtime in other sectors of activity or private companies.

All of these forces will gather at more than 250 declared demonstrations across the country, the largest being in Paris, where the procession should start at Gare du Nord and end at Nation Square. Security will be ensured by 5500 police, as there is a possibility of several yellow jackets and anarchist "black blocs" joining these protests, according to the Interior Ministry.

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