French transport minister: fuel situation getting better

PARIS – France’s junior transport minister, Alain Vidalies, says that fuel shortages sparked by nationwide strikes and blockades are easing across France, although he warned that the crisis wasn’t over.

Panic at the pump has been among the most serious effects of weeks of French labour action, which has shuttered refineries, blocked fuel depots and disrupted travel across the country.

French unions, notably the militant CGT, are fighting the government’s attempt to reform the French labour market, saying the new measures will weaken the country’s social protections.

They have picketed refineries and depots and even bridges in an effort to force the government to back down.

On Saturday Vidalies told journalists that “the situation is getting better” but warned that the crisis wasn’t over. Industrial action is planned into next week.