French holiday faces disruption

A strike at French oil refineries over pension reform disrupted school holidays and sporting events over the weekend, with a quarter of petrol stations short of fuel and popular resorts likely to be particularly hard hit.

Raymond Soubie, a senior adviser to President Nicolas Sarkozy, told Europe 1 radio that the regions of Brittany, Loire-Atlantic and Auvergne in the northwest and centre would be among the worst affected by the shortages, which come at the start of a 12-day school holiday. Several football matches in the north over the weekend had to be postponed as the strikes wreaked havoc.