INTRODUCTION: Thousands of state employees staged a 24-hour strike in Paris on Thursday (27 January) to protest at the government's anti-inflation measures.
SV Clock (10 o'clock) PAN TO GV demonstrators in street
GV & CU Post office closed
GV Hospital with sign showing emergency cases only (3 shots)
SV Hospital strikers in street including nurses and doctors
CV Hospital auxiliary workers marching along road
SV & GV Workers demonstrating in street (4 shots)
M. Barre has now been given the ultra-delicate task of ending the Paris imbroglio, which has pitted two leading government coalition parties, the Gaullists and the Independent Republicans against each other.
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Thousands of state employees staged a 24-hour strike in Paris on Thursday (27 January) to protest at the government's anti-inflation measures.
SYNOPSIS: An estimated 50,000 demonstrators called on the government to open negotiations on giving them bigger wage increases.
Post offices were closed and hospitals catered for emergency cases only, but the government is determined to peg wage rises to cost-of-living increases this year. Until now the purchasing power of public sector workers has risen steadily.
The latest bout of protests are the third since Prime Minister Reymond Barre announced the plans last September. But, while the public sector employees are upset, a recent opinion poll indicated that 70 per cent of French people had accepted the restriction. And there are signs that the scheme is beginning to bear fruit. The increase in the retail price index last month is expected to be about 0.4 per cent, well below previous months.
There are also fears that the decision of the former Premier, Jacques Chirac, to run for the post of Mayor in Paris may undermine the anti-inflation package. M. Chirac astounded France by announcing his candidature against both the Left and President Valery Giscard D'Estaing's choice. Mr. Chirac has accused his ex-Premier of trying to wreck the country.