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French rail strikes resume, government won’t back down

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Staff Writer | April 9, 2018
French rail strikes
France   Just one in five high-speed TGV trains were operating

French rail workers launched their latest two-day strike on Sunday over plans to overhaul the heavily indebted train operator SNCF, the biggest test yet to President Emmanuel Macron's drive to reform the country's economy.

Neither side appears ready to back down, with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe warning that the government would not be deterred despite union pledges for three months of rolling stoppages, and possibly more.

"I get messages from people who support the government, saying we need to carry this through all the way. And that's what we are going to do," Philippe told the Parisien newspaper Sunday.

Just one in five high-speed TGV trains were operating and similar disruptions were expected Monday, with roughly one-quarter of Eurostar trains serving London to be cancelled, the SNCF said.

On some main lines just one in six trains will be running Monday, and only one in three regional trains, including the heavily used lines serving the Paris region.

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