French riot police removed picketers and barricades blocking access to a large fuel distribution depot as President Francois Hollande warned anti-reform protesters on Friday that he would not let them strangle the economy. The police operation to free up a fuel depot near the Donges oil refinery in western France followed similar swoops at other depots this week to ease petrol shortages caused by picketers fighting planned labor law reforms. Speaking in Japan after a summit with other world leaders, Hollande said France's economy was starting to pick up and should not be derailed by opponents of a reform designed to make hiring and firing easier.
A defiant French President Francois Hollande vowed to "stand firm" over a controversial labour law, hitting back Friday at unions which urged workers to step up a wave of industrial action. The latest war of words between the government and unions came as France reels from fuel shortages, transport disruption and violent demonstrations, two weeks to the day that it begins hosting the Euro 2016 football championships. "I will stand firm because I think it is a good reform," Hollande told reporters at a G7 summit in Japan.