Paris region worst hit by national rail strike

2nd June 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, June 2 (AFP) - Rail traffic in France was badly hit by a strike by staff at the state-owned SNCF Thursday, in a first challenge for newly-appointed Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.

PARIS, June 2 (AFP) - Rail traffic in France was badly hit by a strike by staff at the state-owned SNCF Thursday, in a first challenge for newly-appointed Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin.  

Four unions called the strike from 8:00 pm Wednesday, leaving only 60 percent of high-speed TGV trains and 35 percent of trains on national lines in service until Friday 8:00 am, SNCF said.  

Paris commuters using suburban lines suffered the most, with between 25 and 60 percent of trains in operation.  

High-speed Eurostar trains linking Paris to London, as well as Thalys trains linking Paris to several major European cities, were running on or close to schedule.  

Workers called the strike to demand better pay, job creation and the protection of the country's public services.  

Villepin, who was appointed by President Jacques Chirac on Tuesday following France's rejection of the EU constitution in a weekend referendum, is tasked with bringing down the country's 10.2 percent unemployment rate.

© AFP

Subject: French News

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