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Christmas chaos: France set for more strikes over holidays

Strikes that have brought much of France's public transport network to a standstill entered their eighth consecutive day on Thursday, December 12, 2019.
Strikes that have brought much of France's public transport network to a standstill entered their eighth consecutive day on Thursday, December 12, 2019. FRANCE 24

Strikes that have crippled France’s public transport system entered their eighth day Thursday, but more travel misery could be to come after unions announced the strikes are likely to continue over the Christmas holidays. 

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"No Christmas break unless the government comes to its senses," Laurent Brun, head of CGT's railway branch, said on French radio Franceinfo.

The strikes were triggered by plans to reform France’s pension system, which will see people need to work longer to get a full pension.

With rail and other public transport workers taking part in the industrial action, the strikes have seen métro, train and bus services vastly reduced across the country.

In Paris and other major cities, commuters have been faced with vast overcrowding on public transport, with many opting to take alternative modes of transport to get to and from work, including driving and cycling.

According to 2018 figures, one in five French people travel for the Christmas holidays, mostly to visit friends and family.

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