Macron's high-risk spring as he faces worker discontent

France — Chronicle

This week is the start of a critical period in Emmanuel Macron's presidency. Workers from the rail industry, Air France and the supermarket chain Carrefour have been taking industrial action while students have held sit-ins at a number of universities. The government says that these various actions with their different causes show an irrational fear of the “new world” that is dawning. In fact, argues Hubert Huertas, these protests stem from a weariness with years of talk about the need for austerity and reform - and they could yet threaten the presidency's power.

French rail unions take on Macron with mass rolling strikes

France — Link

Just one in four trains were running in the Paris region as people made their way back to work on what French media dubbed 'Black Tuesday'.

France faces spring of discontent as workers fight Macron’s reforms

France — Link

Workers in transport and other public sectors plan strikes amid fears of protests in the run-up to the 50th anniversary of the May 1968 uprising.

France braced for crippling three-month rail strike

France — Link

Thousands of French rail workers will go on strike for two out of every five days until the end of June, crippling train traffic for 36 days.

Macron plays public opinion card against his critics

France — Analysis

Emmanuel Macron has always insisted he is not worried about opinion polls and that, as head of state, he is willing to court unpopularity to do what he considers right for France. That has not stopped him basing his political strategy around what the public says, sometimes playing off the polls against critics of his reforms – even if that risks dividing the French people. Ellen Salvi looks at the French president's approach to public opinion.

President Macron sets political trap for France's railway workers

France — Analysis

A government-commissioned report on France's railway sector has put reform of the employment status and supposedly “exorbitant privileges” of the country's railway workers firmly at the centre of the political agenda. These changes would themselves save around 100 million to 150 million euros in savings over ten years – a modest amount compared with the massive debts of the train operator SNCF. But as Martine Orange reports, the French presidency's real aim is to win a political battle by getting pubic opinion on its side.

French rail unions vow to strike as Macron axes workers’ privileges

France — Link

Hours after French government unveiled details of its far-reaching rail reforms, rail union leaders said they were stepping up strike plans.

Mystery of French minister's massive Air France pay-off

France — Investigation

A French government minister's declarations of her past income have shed a stark light on the system of privileges enjoyed by an elite group of civil servants in France. That system allowed Florence Parly, a career civil servant who is now minister for the Armed Forces, to take up lucrative jobs outside the civil service without ever risking her security of employment. She even managed to negotiate a golden handshake from Air France worth around half a million euros. Laurent Mauduit reports.

Paris rail chaos continues for third day

France — Link

Authorities say they have now identified source of problem at Montparnasse station and three-quarters of TGV trains to and from there will run.

French rail workers refuse to join 'migrant hunt'

International — Report

The Riviera coastal area in south-east France surrounding the border with Italy has become a major crossing point for migrants from Africa and the Middle East trying to reach northern Europe.  Despite a crackdown on the clandestine crossings by French and Italian police, many migrants continue to attempt the journey, either by by train or the perilous route of railway tracks, despite a series of fatal and serious accidents. French rail employees are increasingly under pressure from both their company and the police to help with the hunt for the migrants. Louise Fessard met with railwaymen who refuse to collaborate with operations that one described as resembling scenes from the WWII German occupation.

France waves au revoir to overnight sleeper trains

France — Link

State-run SNCF will axe all but three overnight train services from Paris as of July 1st for reasons of cost.

Severe disruption expected as French rail workers strike

France — Link

Train operators SNCF say only half of high-speed TGV services set to run on Tuesday in latest all-day stoppage over pay and conditions.

French rail giant cancels Airbnb partnership after hotels complain

France — Link

SNCF scrapped deal with flat-sharing website after anger from hotel industry which says 'unfair competition' from site has hit profits.

France's SNCF halts Strasbourg rail tests after fatal crash

France — Link

Move follows derailment that killed 11 people last weekend and will delay entry into service of new high-speed line to Strasbourg .

French railways operator denies offering migrants free travel

France — Link

The SNCF denied media reports that migrants were to get free tickets to travel around France, but said waving reservation fees was a 'possibility'.