French police ‘liberate’ fuel depot from striking workers

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French police have dislodged protesters blocking a key fuel depot on the Mediterranean, as petrol shortages spread around the country amid increasingly tense strike action.

The CGT union reacted angrily to the overnight police advance on the depot at Fos-sur-Mer, where lorries resumed traffic this morning.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Europe-1 radio that the site was “liberated” after days of blockades.

The striking workers want the government to abandon a reform that extends the working week, and are blocking refineries and fuel depots around the country.

The junior minister for transport, Alain Vidalies, said on i-Tele television that 20% of petrol stations around the country are facing shortages as of Tuesday and unions are threatening to stop production at all of France’s eight refineries.

Mr Valls said: “Other sites will be liberated. I’m very determined.”

Consumers, meanwhile, are flocking to petrol pumps in anticipation of further problems.

Broadcast media in France even showed images of French drivers crossing the border to fill up their vehicles in Belgium.

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