500,000 on protest strike in France: threat of higher oil prices looms in Europe

21-Oct-10
About a 500,000 people are on strike across France to protest draft legislation in parliament aimed at raising the retirement age from 60 to 62. This strike is in addition to the ongoing strike by oil refinery workers opposed to the pension reforms that is contributing to fuel shortages across the country. 11 refineries in France have halted operations or reduced output, fuel is out of supply in thousands of gasoline stations in France because strikers are blocking deliveries, and gas prices have propelled because of panic buying. These strikes are having repercussions beyond France's borders. Analysts opine that if the strikes continue, fuel shortage might push prices up across Europe in the coming months. However, French President Sarkozy plans to proceed with planned pension reforms. This week will see the French Senate hold a final vote on the pension reforms.
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