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Travel

France braces for rail and airport strikes

A national railway strike is due to get under way in France this Tuesday evening, kicking off a week of strikes across France. Tourists will also have to expect travel disruptions.

Three unions have called on employees at France's national SNCF railway plan to go on strike as of 7 p.m. on Tuesday evening. The SNCF expects 40 per cent of its long-distance TGV trains to be affected across France. Every second regional train will have to be cancelled. However, the TGV and ICE trains from Paris to Stuttgart and Frankfurt will run according to plan on Wednesday. The Thalys train service, which also connects to Germany, will be disrupted.

As of Thursday, tourists will be affected by industrial action on the metro line in Paris, as workers there join the strikes. Air traffic controllers are expected to strike for three days starting Friday, June 3.

There are concerns the Euro 2016 football championships, which France hosts next week, may be disrupted. Tourism chiefs in Paris have warned that the unrest is putting off visitors to one of the world's top destinations.

The strikes have been called by labor unions to demand concessions on working conditions and salaries, and also to keep up pressure on the government to change or withdraw controversial labor legislation that has sparked demonstrations for months.

fm / sbc (dpa)