first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.The dispute centers on Sarkozy’s plans to scrap a special pension plan meant to give advantages to those in physically tough jobs. They are able to retire earlier and on more generous terms than the majority of France’s working population. The government insists that reforms are needed to keep the pensions plan afloat for hundreds of thousands of workers. PARIS (AP) – Commuters roller-skated, drove and biked to work, or simply stayed home. The biggest strike in 12 years crippled France’s public transport system Thursday and handed President Nicolas Sarkozy the biggest political test of his young presidency. The walkout, which came on the same day Sarkozy announced his divorce from his wife, appeared set to continue for a second day and showed that the president’s ambitious plans to reform France will not be smooth. Only a third of the subway system was expected to run in Paris today. The government was unbowed in its determination to scrap special retirement privileges for some state workers – but unions also stood firm, hoping to repeat past successes in blocking efforts to make France more competitive. More than 90 percent of high-speed TGV trains were not running Thursday. Only one Paris subway line – which is automatic, with no drivers – was running as usual. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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