April 16, 2018 / 7:14 AM / 6 days ago

French minister: strikes taking economic toll but too soon to quantify

PARIS (Reuters) - French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday the SNCF rail strike and other industrial actions were starting to take a toll in sectors such as hotels and tourism but that it was far too early to quantify an overall impact on gross domestic product.

France's Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire speaks during a news conference at the G20 Meeting of Finance Ministers in Buenos Aires, Argentina, March 20, 2018. REUTERS/Marcos Brindicci

Interviewed on Europe 1 radio, the minister said the major strikes of end-1995 had shaved 0.2 percentage points off GDP back then but he said the economy was more generally picking up at the moment.

The current industrial action, sparked by plans to shake up the state-owned rail company, began earlier this month with a union call for stoppages two days in every five over three months. It began on April 3.

Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Writing by Brian Love

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