French strikers disrupted train and bus service and sanitation workers dumped garbage in the street in the fourth day of a nationwide protest Friday against government plans to reform pensions.
The strikes came as tourist season gathered pace ahead of summer. On Friday, tourists were seen waiting in vain for airport buses.
Angry strikers stepped up their provocative action. Demonstrators cut power lines at the Gare de Lyon train station in Paris, halting all outbound traffic for several hours, a spokesman for state-run rail authority SNCF said.
Overall, one of every three trains in Paris was affected by the action on Friday. In the southern city of Marseille, only one tramway was running.
The trouble was expected to mount next week. Tuesday — the day Parliament begins debate on pension reform — is marked for major bus, train and airport strikes.
The transport workers, led by the Communist-linked CGT, have been joined by teachers and other public sector workers. Sanitation workers protesting in Lyon dumped garbage in front of City Hall in protest.
Not quite calling it rioting, but at least it's something.
And yes, if something like this were happening in the US, it would dominate news coverage not just here but all over Europe. While this can partly be explained by the fact that we are "the last superpower", while France is ... well, France - it doesn't explain the near news blackout.