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Sarkozy's Woes: Workers Strike, Marriage in Crisis

French public workers demonstrate in Marseilles, during a 24-hour strike against the government's reform plans of historic pensions privileges.
Boris Harvat / AFP/Getty Images
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AFP/Getty Images
French public workers demonstrate in Marseilles, during a 24-hour strike against the government's reform plans of historic pensions privileges.

Many French workers are stuck at home Thursday, as transportation and utility unions hold a strike to protest President Nicolas Sarkozy's planned pension changes. The strike comes as Sarkozy confirms that he and his wife Cecilia will separate — a move that would leave him without an important adviser.

The office of the French leader said that the couple is separating by mutual consent after nearly 11 years of marriage.

The French public had plenty of time to absorb that news Thursday, as a 24-hour public transportation strike made workers' commutes difficult or impossible.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.
Eleanor Beardsley began reporting from France for NPR in 2004 as a freelance journalist, following all aspects of French society, politics, economics, culture and gastronomy. Since then, she has steadily worked her way to becoming an integral part of the NPR Europe reporting team.