Protests threaten France shut down
Added under Labor
The battle over a planned overhaul of France's pension system has intensified as rolling strikes cut the fuel pipeline to Paris airports and shut down most of the country's oil refineries.
In an attempt to pummel the government into backing down on its controversial plans to raise the retirement age, a broad alliance of unions, left-wing political parties and students are pressing ahead with a series of nationwide protests.
Tens of thousands of people are expected to join the nationwide protests on Saturday, just days ahead of the final government vote on the reforms on Wednesday. Unions are also promising a major strike on Tuesday in a final attempt to stop the legislation.
The protesters were to march from the Place de la Republique to the Bastille in Paris.
The country has already endured four straight days of strikes, squeezing fuel supplies, grounding flights, cutting rail services and closing schools and other key facilities.
Trapil, the Paris pipeline operator, told the AFP news agency that Charles de Gaulle, the country's main airport, could run out of fuel by next week, while Orly "has stocks for 17 days".
Sources: Al Jazeera
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