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Eurostar services resume after French protests

Eurostar services from London to Paris and vice versa have resumed after French ferry workers blocked the tracks on Tuesday. Police used tear gas to disperse the roughly 200 protesters.

According to Eurostar's website, early trains in both directions departed on time. Services had been suspended after French ferry workers set fire to tires on the tracks, causing traffic and travel mayhem.

French riot police used tear gas to disperse the protesters, who burst into a rendition of the French national anthem, the Marseillaise, as they were moved on.

Earlier on Tuesday, the demonstrators had also occupied the docks in Calais port, preventing passengers from disembarking and forcing ferries to be diverted to the nearby port of Dunkirk.

Frankreich Calais Streik

Ferry workers burnt tires on the tracks

Some of the thousands of illegal immigrants camped in Calais and desperately trying to reach Britain took advantage of the chaos and tried to climb into the back of lorries backed up on roads approaching the port.

The French workers, who are employed by France's MyFerryLink, were protesting plans by channel tunnel operator Eurotunnel to sell two of its ferries to Danish company DFDS. Unions fear as many as 120 jobs could be lost.

The French government issued a statement late on Tuesday calling on Eurotunnel to "re-examine its plan" and to "work towards a better solution with regards to employment".

Eurotunnel services resumed at around 7:00p.m. local time (1700 UTC), while port traffic resumed later Tuesday evening. But Eurostar services did not start again until Wednesday due to repair works on the tracks.

ng/ (AFP, AP)

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