World Economy

French Strikes Affecting Growth

French Strikes Affecting GrowthFrench Strikes Affecting Growth

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday the SNCF rail strike and other industrial actions were starting to take a toll in sectors such as hotels and tourism but that it was far too early to quantify an overall impact on gross domestic product, Reuters reported. Interviewed on Europe 1 radio, the minister said the major strikes of end-1995 had shaved 0.2 percentage points off GDP back then but he said the economy was more generally picking up at the moment. The current industrial action, sparked by plans to shake up the state-owned rail company, began earlier this month with a union call for stoppages two days in every five over three months. It began on April 3. French President Emmanuel Macron declared last weekend that strikes and protests will not prevent him from overhauling the nation’s economy—comments that came as train workers, hospital staff, students, retirees, lawyers and magistrates are challenging his economic vision. Macron appeared on national television TF1 Thursday to respond to the public’s concerns and defend his economic policies and tax changes, which he says are aimed at modernizing the country.


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