French teachers, magistrates prepare to protest

A French magistrate wears a badge reading "Your rights are in danger".
A French magistrate wears a badge reading "Your rights are in danger". Reuters/Stephane Mahe

France is bracing itself for a day of industrial action on Thursday, when teachers walk out in protest at planned job cuts and magistrates plan nationwide demonstrations as the culmination of their three-day strike.


Between 20 and 40 per cent of French primary-school teachers are expected to take part in Thursday's strike, which has been called by all main teaching unions.

More than 70 rallies are planned in cities across France, including Marseille, Lille and Paris.

Teachers are protesting job cuts due to come into force from September 2011. The government plans to shed 16,000 teaching posts, at the start of an academic year when pupil numbers are expected to increase by 62,000.

The teachers' walk-out coincides with the day of action planned by France's magistrates, who have been on strike since Monday.

They're also organising demonstrations in a number of cities. The largest is expected to take place in Nantes in the west of France, the site of the murder case that prompted President Nicolas Sarkozy's criticism of the judiciary and magistrates' angry response.

Thursday's action follows strikes on Wednesday by journalists at RFI and France 2 television, and by dockers at Marseille port.

President Sarkozy is expected to comment on the strikes during a live interview on TF1 television on Thursday night, in which he'll respond to questions from a pre-selected panel of "ordinary citizens".

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