>> Blockades of fuel depots in northern France as a 24 hour strike at a nuclear plant outside Paris looms. It's been called by France's hardline CGT union, one of the most powerful in the country, and escalates a continuing stand off over proposed new labor laws. The government says they're crucial to fight rampant unemployment stuck at over 10% of the work force.
The changes will make hiring and firing easier. So far, the strikes have affected oil depots and refineries, triggering shortages. Train and metro strikes have also been announced. Reuter's correspondent Geert De Clerq is in Paris.>> Yes, the French public in general is quite stoic with these strikes. They're used to it.
Many people even sympathize and will say so on TV. Of course, business owners are not so happy because they really cannot do what they need to do without fuel. And the big question, of course, is what happens when the Euro soccer tournament starts on June 10? That will bring a lot of foreigners into France who will not be so happy with the big transport delay that this might cause.
>> Ministers went on the radio Wednesday morning to say the government would stand firm. While the CGT chief told RTL radio that his union would press on. The nuclear plant strike will start at 7PM GMT at the Nogent-sur-Seine plant southeast of Paris.>> Like the blockages and the strikes in the oil sector, the ones in the electricity sector are much more symbolic, in the sense that when you picket an oil refinery, there's an immediate impact.
People get no gas for their car, whereas the strike in a nuclear plant will not typically be felt by a French citizen. Of course, it just adds to the general annoyance for the government. It is a very major challenge to the attempt of the Hollande government to reform labor law here.
As France mobilizes its emergency motor fuel stocks for the first time since 2010, the government accuses the CGT of taking the country hostage.