SNCM blockade ending?

French unions have agreed to call off a strike at Corsican ferry company SNCM in a row over its future survival.

Prime minister Manuel Valls had threatened imminent action to break up their blockade of ports in Marseille and Corsica.

A government source told Reuters that unions and a government-approved mediator had agreed on a plan that would keep the company afloat at least until the end of November.

Workers have been on strike since 24 June as the tourist season ramps up, occupying ferries over fears the company could fold.

Valls said SNCM, which is partly state-owned, was "sinking" and needed to be placed under court protection to shield itself from a European Commission order to repay EUR 440m ($600m) in state aid.

Mexican owner Baja Ferries is in talks to buy a controlling stake.

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