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Strikes threaten Euro 2016 tournament


A standoff between trade unionists and the French government is threatening to disrupt the Euro 2016 football tournament.

Anger over a controversial labour reform bill has produced weeks of industrial action with no sign of any acceptable compromise on either side.

Rail strikes are continuing, Air France are planning their own walkout this weekend and stoppages now extend to refuse collections.

“We will paralyse the country during the Euro. We demand the immediate withdrawal of the El-Khomri law,’‘ said Malik Benyoussef, a railway worker.

A million of foreign visitors and football fans are due to arrive for the month-long tournament which kicks off on Friday.

Organisers of the football fiesta, the biggest sporting event this year, second only to the Olympics, are concerned.

“About the evolution of the strikes, we don’t have any more information than you. It’s an issue that unfortunately we can’t control. We of course would like mobility to be as fluid as possible,” Jacques Lambert, President of the Euro 2016 Organising Committee said.

Even so, the football teams have been arriving this week – Spain, the current European Champions are the latest. Training and tactics may be their main priority, but if the strikes paralyse French transport, there’ll be no one to see them play.


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