French train strike to disrupt high-speed TGV service: SNCF

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France's high-speed TGV train service will be disrupted by a one-day national rail strike on Thursday to protest a planned rise in the age of retirement, the SNCF train operator said Tuesday.

TGV and regional train services would be cut by around 50 percent while local trains in the Paris area would see two out of every five trains running.

Eurostar trains between London and Paris, however, would not be affected and Thalys trains linking Paris and Brussels would suffer only slight disruption.

The stoppages would be part of a fresh day of strikes called by French unions earlier this month, after more than a million people took to the street in protest at the government plan to raise the French retirement age.

Six major unions issued a joint statement saying they were not satisfied by the minor modifications offered by President Nicolas Sarkozy to his plan to raise the minimum retirement age from 60 to 62 by 2018.

They called on French workers to make September 23 "a major day of strikes and demonstrations" to fight the reform, a cornerstone of Sarkozy's agenda as he eyes the next presidential election in 2012.

Information on the disruption can be found at and

© 2010 AFP

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