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France Alerte de sécurité

France: Nationwide general strike and protests Feb. 5 /update 1

Nationwide general strike and related protests on February 5; transportation disruptions expected

05 févr. 09h21 UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 5/2/2019, 12h00 until 6/2/2019, 11h59 (Europe/Paris). COUNTRY/REGION France, Paris, Lille, Bordeaux
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Event

The General Confederation of Labor (CGT) called for public and private sector workers to hold a 24-hour strike throughout the country on Tuesday, February 5, reportedly in support of the "yellow vest" movement.

As such, public transportation disruptions are possible, notably affecting the rail traffic, as employees from the SNCF (national rail operator) have joined the movement. While high speed trains are not likely to be affected, regional trains such as Intercités and TER services will be affected.  The Paris metro is expected to run normally, however, some stations, including Hotel de Ville, Champs Élysées Clemenceau, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Miromesnil will remain closed. Road and air traffic disruptions are also possible; in Nantes, protesters are reportedly blocking the road leading to the Nantes Atlantique Airport (NTE).

Associated protests are also expected to take place. In Paris, protesters are expected to gather at 14:00 (local time) from the Hotel de Ville to the Place de la Concorde. In Lille, protesters will gather at 14:30 at Porte de Paris, and in Bordeaux, protesters will gather at Place de la République at 11:30.

Disruptions in commercial activity are to be anticipated. Health and education services are also likely to be disrupted.

As a reminder, significant disruptions are ongoing throughout the country due to protests and blockades organized by the "yellow vest" movement. 

Context

Related CGT protests were held nationwide, notably on December 14 and 18, to protest falling purchasing power and perceived inadequate pensions and social protections.

The "yellow vest" movement began on November 17, 2018, to protest rising fuel prices and a planned fuel tax, and has since grown to encompass a number of popular grievances against the French government; some protests have turned violent and acts of vandalism and looting have been reported, although the scale of protests has diminished since their height in December. The government had previously announced a tax increase on fuel prices, including gasoline and diesel, beginning on January 1, 2019, to promote environmentally friendly practices. Although the government announced the withdrawal of the carbon tax project from the 2019 budget on December 5, protests have continued.

Advice

Individuals in France are advised to confirm rail timetables and reservations, allow for additional time to reach their destinations, and to avoid all protests as a precaution.

 

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