17 Oct 2010

Charles de Gaulle airport running low on fuel

9:23 am on 17 October 2010

France's main airport is running short of fuel, amid strikes against government plans to raise the retirement age.

The Ministry of Transport says Charles de Gaulle international airport has enough fuel to last only a few more days.

The ministry says officials are working to restore aviation fuel supplies.

Economy Minister Christine Lagarde has urged people "not to panic".

Oil refineries and fuel depots have been hit by the latest strikes, with 10 of the country's 12 refineries shut or in the process of closing.

The BBC reports a number of fuel depots have been blockaded.

The company that operates the fuel pipeline to the Paris airports said on Friday that supplies had stopped and that Roissy-Charles de Gaulle could run out of fuel by early next week.

Police in Paris said 20,000 people took part in a protest on Saturday afternoon, compared to 50,000 last Saturday.

A sixth day of nationwide strikes and protests is planned for 19 October.

Pension reforms have already been approved by the National Assembly, the lower house of parliament.

The Senate has endorsed the key articles on raising the retirement age and is due to vote on the full text on 20 October.