France Rail Chaos Enters Third Day, ‘Weighing On Economy’

France Rail
AFP — French rail users faced a third day of strike disruption on Thursday but airport workers cancelled a planned walkout, easing fears for the Euro 2016 football championships. Around half the country’s trains were cancelled, but union hopes they could bring the transport mayhem into the heart of Paris appeared to have failed, with no sign that a planned subway strike had affected services. With barely a week to go until the Euro 2016 kicks off on June 10, air traffic controllers called off a walkout due to hit over the weekend. Although each of the strikes has its own motivations, the unions are united in opposition to the Socialist government’s new labour reforms that have sparked three months of often violent protests. More demonstrations against the reforms — which the government says are designed to make France more business-friendly — are planned in Paris, Marseille, Toulouse and Nantes on Thursday. The unions still have plenty of opportunities to cause headaches for the government during the football tournament, which already poses a major security challenge in the wake of last year’s jihadist attacks in Paris. One Air France pilots’ union has already threatened a walkout starting on June 11,