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Channel ports back to normal

Fishermen have called off their blockade of French ferry ports, although some commercial docks remain closed off.

Fishermen have called off their blockade of French ferry ports, although some commercial docks and petrol depots remain closed.

A spokesman for the main fishermen's union said all their boats were now back to work.

The blockade brought chaos to ferry ports between Boulogne and Dunkirk at the end of last week.

The decision to block ferry services was the culmination of a two-week campaign by fishermen protesting against the unprecedented cost of fuel.

The situation was made much worse on Thursday due to a strike by dock workers and civil servants, including train drivers, protesting against pension reforms.

Huge tailbacks of lorries built up on both sides of the channel that have now largely been cleared.

Fishing minister Michel Barnier on Friday put forward a package that, if agreed, could reduce the fishermen’s fuel burden, which has risen from €0.40 to €0.70 per litre in a year.

Fishermen do not pay tax on their diesel.

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