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Fuel blockade starves France of petrol

10-21-2010 16:15 BJT

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The Grandpuits Refinery, situated 80 kilometers east of Paris, remains cut off by strikers despite official pledges to crack down on fuel blockades starving the country of petrol.

Waving flaming torches, and listening to union leaders talk of class warfare, demonstrators cheered their support for the protest while vowing to make their government stand down.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy, on the other hand, is pledging to rid the nation's fuel depots of the blockades. But so far, there has been no sign of the promised police crackdown at the Grandpuits Refinery.

With nearly a third of all gas stations in France now dry, authorities stepped in overnight to force open three fuel depots that had been cut off for several days. But more than 3-thousand gas stations remain bereft of petrol -- about a quarter of the national total.


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