French strikes hit rail services this week

Rail travellers face chaos in France

This week is set to be a chaotic once in France as workers in all areas of public life go on strike including rail workers, air-traffic controllers, and traffic wardens; thousands are planning on taking to the streets as they protest against proposed changes to the country's pension system planned by Macron's government.

Already, there have been extensive and widespread train cancellations as almost all drivers go on strike. About half of all Eurostar services have also been cancelled between London and Paris. The misery is compounded for public transport users in Paris, as 11 of the 16 metro lines have also been completely shut down; taxi drivers and bicycle hire outlets are having a field day!

The protesters plan to march through central Paris, which has led to shops and cafes along the planned route being advised to remain closed, as officials fear possible clashes.

As to the reasons for the protests, The Guardian reports:

"Pension reform is the latest step for Macron after he overhauled labour rules and changed the unemployment system, but it has always been an extremely sensitive topic in France.

..many French voters agree that the pensions system should be changed, they are not sure the pro-business president can be trusted to do it. A recent Ifop poll found 76% of French people back pensions reform, but 64% do not trust the government to pull it off."