Half a million march as France paralysed by strike

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Les halls de la gare Matabiau sont désertés par les voyageurs. / © FTV / Noé Poitevin

A nationwide strike brought much of France to a standstill on Thursday to protest the government’s planned overhaul of the pension system, one of President Emmanuel Macron most ambitious reforms.

The CGT union said 1.5 million people hit the streets nationwide in protest while the Interior Ministry put the number at 806,000.

The national railway company SNCF cancelled 90 percent of high-speed trains on Friday and warned of “very severe disruptions” for the Eurostar and Thalys trains serving London and Brussels.

Flights were affected on Friday, with one in five being cancelled.  Delays were also experienced, as air traffic controllers added more woes to travellers.