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FRANCE

Radio France enters 27th day of strike

Radio France headquarters, known as Maison de la Radio, Paris, April  2015.
Radio France headquarters, known as Maison de la Radio, Paris, April 2015. Reuters/Charles Platiau

This is the longest strike in a decade at France’s public radio broadcaster. Radio France entered on Tuesday its 27th day of the strike.

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It’s been almost one month that the public national news stations have been paralysed - playing music - and the strike shows no sign of ending after three days of talks with a mediator failed to defuse a standoff over cost cuts.

French Culture Minister Fleur Pellerin even made last night a surprise entry at a meeting with the unions but gave a cold shoulder to Radio France chief Mathieu Galet, who has become very unpopular since press revelations last month that renovation work in his office cost 100,000 euros.

“Fleur Pellerin came to support the social dialogue and renew confidence,” said the culture ministry although the main issue over the planned schedules consolidation of the 44 local stations in the country remains unsolved.

The strike stems from concerns over job losses and service reductions aimed to target a budget deficit expected to reach 21 million euros in 2015.

Radio France chief Mathieu Gallet has warned the group could run out of money within months if no measures are taken while unions have denounced a total of 87 million euros in cuts to grants over the last three years.

Gallet has targeted 50 million euros in savings over the next three years and proposed cutting 200 to 300 jobs through voluntary redundancies.

A meeting at the French Senate on Tuesday afternoon is expected to be a last chance to find a way out of the conflict which costs 1 million euros a week.

Radio France runs national stations France Info, France Inter and France Culture, as well as a network of local outlets. 

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