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French refineries resume work after pension reform vote

10-30-2010 08:24 BJT

PARIS, Oct. 29 (Xinhua) -- Twelve French refineries ended their long-running strikes over pension reforms on Friday as deputies passed the revised bill, paving the way for a normal fuel supply in the country's dry pumps.

All the country's refineries voted to resume works after long weeks of protests and blockades of refineries and fuel depots which hit the country's fuel supply and forced the government to tap strategic reserves to avoid fuel shortage.

"All the refineries resumed works as it made no sense to continue (striking)," Eric Delmas, delegate of the main labor union CGT told radio channel Europe 1.

France's National Assembly voted on Wednesday the final text of the controversial pension reforms which targets to prolong retirement age by two years to garner additional financial resources to pay pension pool.

The French Union of Petroleum Industries said less than 15 percent of oil stations from a total of 12,500 fuel pump still suffered from disrupted supply as the return to normal situation will take time.

"We will have a completely normal situation in mid-next week. It is a relief for those who have struggled throughout that period .. ," Jean-Louis Borloo, Energy Minister said to the private TV channel ITele.

Officials said strikes at refineries caused damage of between 200 and 400 million euros (278 and 555.9 million U.S. dollars), but Economy Minister Christine Lagarde ruled out serious impact to the tepid economic recovery despite of waves of pension strike.

The French giant energy firm Total, which manages six of the country's refineries, announced its losses from strikes at 100 million euros (138.9 million dollars).

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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