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How the national strike is impacting France

A man rides an electric scooter in Marseille, France, December 4, 2019, on the eve of a national strike against French government's pensions reform plans.
A man rides an electric scooter in Marseille, France, December 4, 2019, on the eve of a national strike against French government's pensions reform plans. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

As France ground to a halt, Thursday, because of nationwide strike by transport workers, teachers and other professionals, the impact of the industrial action is becoming clear. 

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The strike -- which is open-ended and could last several days -- has drawn comparisons between the struggle between government and unions in November-December 1995 when the country was paralysed for some three weeks. Here are some of the first notable casualties of the strike:

• 10 Metro lines close as Paris public transport grinds to a halt. Automated lines 1 and 14 are operating as normal. Metro 8, due to be closed, opened southeast of line

• 90 percent of the TGV and 80 percent of regional TER trains cancelled

• Only 127km of traffic jams in Ile-de-France (on normal weekdays that rises to around 300kms)

• Unlimited strikes are planned by both the Parisian underground workers of the RATP, and SNCF long distance train drivers.

• Eurostar has cancelled many trains to and from Paris from December 5 at least until December 9.

• Around 20 percent of all flights into and out of France will be cancelled on Thursday.

• 55 percent of teachers nationally are on strike but that rises to 78 percent in Paris.

• 70 percent of primary school teachers have declared a strike

• 250 protest marches across the country organized by trade unions, opposition parties and "yellow vests".

• 60 rental bicycle stations in centre of Paris closed in advance of Paris protest marches

• No trams are running in Nice.

• In Lyon, the underground is working as normal as is the tramway, but buses are badly impacted

• The police prefecture in Paris mobilized nearly 6,000 police officers and gendarmes. Police are expecting a large presence of black blocs and radicalised Yellow Vest.

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