France’s oil industry in turmoil, Greece evacuates thousands of migrants
Posted in: CURRENT AFFAIRS
All of France’s eight oil refineries have risen to strike over new labor laws, according to CGT union. Ever since the government adopted the new controversial laws, the country’s oil-based workers have been protesting and going on strikes.
According to recent data, about 20% of France’s petrol stations have either run dry or are running low on oil.
On Tuesday morning, French police dispersed protesters at Fos-sur-Mer in Marseille, and shortly afterwards Prime Minister Manuel Valls said the labor laws will not be changed and that further protests will be dispersed as well.
“That's enough. It's unbearable to see this sort of thing,” Valls told French radio. “The CGT will come up against an extremely firm response from the government. We'll carry on clearing sites blocked by this organization.”
It’s not only oil refineries that have been affected by the labor laws, as fuel depots and petrol stations have had problems with supplies across France as well.
According to the French government, only two out of every 10 petrol stations suffered from problems with supplies, but motorists have their own data, which claims many more petrol stations were affected.
In order to dismantle blockades and disperse crowds at oil refineries, French police is using tear gas and water cannons. Witnesses also claim that projectiles were thrown, and tires and pallets were set on fire.
Dozens of people have been injured on both sides. French President Francois Hollande has made only one statement about the matter, saying that the blockade was a “strategy supported by a minority.”
In other news, thousands of stranded migrants are being evacuated from Idomeni camp on the Greek-Macedonia border. The border was closed in March.
Most migrants are being evacuated to special facilities, some of which sit over 50 miles south, near the Greek city of Thessaloniki.
Although hundreds of police officers were sent into the camp earlier on Tuesday, the government have insisted that they won’t use force. Ever since the Greek-Macedonia border was closed earlier this year, more than 8,400 migrants have been unable to continue their journey to get to northern Europe.
Moreover, police managed to start eliminating blockades organized by migrants on the rail track, which sits on the border.
It’s been nearly a month since migrants started blocking the tracks, forcing trains to change their routes. Other Balkan countries followed suit after Macedonia closed its border with Greece in March.
If you look at what’s happening in Europe on Tuesday alone, you can clearly see that the European Union has its hands full with problems. And while France’s oil supplies problems may affect the bordering countries as well as other 27 members of the EU, the migrant crisis in Europe has already affected each and every member of the European Union.
And while it’s in the best interests of both Greece and Macedonia to finally evacuate all those stranded migrants at the border, the question is: in whose interests is it to provide refuges to all those 8,400 migrants? Who is willing to take them in?
Images: Nolwenn Le Gouic/Icon Sport via Getty Images, France24, AFP, YANNIS KOLESIDIS/POOL/REUTERS, AP Photo/D. Bandic | MYC Writer: Polina Tikhonova