Green and White Army prepares for Euro 2016 travel chaos

French police confront protestors demonstrating against labour reform
French police confront protestors demonstrating against labour reform

Having shrugged off the threat of terror attacks disrupting Euro 2016, the Green and White Army is now preparing to battle through workers’ strikes and street protests to cheer on their heroes.

Northern Ireland’s first game of the European championships is only a fortnight away and concerns over violent labour law reform demonstrations in France are growing.

Travel was severely restricted on Thursday during a nationwide day of industrial action, with air, rail and ferry services disrupted.

Dozen of flights from the UK and Ireland were cancelled after air traffic controllers joined the growing strike action. Electricity supplies were also affected in many areas.

Thousands of Northern Ireland fans planning to drive to France – in everything from camper vans to decommissioned Ulsterbuses – now have a nail-biting wait to see if ongoing fuel shortages continue until the tournament begins on June 10.

Blockades at the main ports have resulted in almost half of the country’s petrol stations running dry or becoming low on supplies.

With England, Wales and the Republic of Ireland also qualifying, more than half a million fans from the British Isles will have visited France by the time the Euro 2016 final takes place on July 10.

The industrial action was sparked by the French government’s plans to drastically change employment laws – to make hiring and firing easier, and to give employers greater freedom to reduce pay.

UK motorists heading to France usually wait until they cross the Channel before filling up, but a leading motoring organisation has urged caution.

“We are strongly advising our members heading to France to fill up their tanks before crossing the Channel and moderate their driving to get the best miles per gallon from their fuel.

“The only silver lining might be less traffic that will allow a car to travel further, typically 300 miles on one tank of fuel,” AA president Edmund King said.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls called it “unacceptable to bring a country to standstill”.