French block British ferries

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DOVER - French fishermen blockaded the ports of Calais and Dunkirk last night, disrupting ferry services, writes Marie Woolf.

Earlier, fishermen clashed with riot police in Rennes in Brittany (right) after a 5,000-strong protest.

P&O reported that flares were fired from French boats as one of its ferries tried to run the blockade out of Calais harbour. The Pride of Bruges got out but another ferry, the Pride of Kent was stopped from entering the port by a barrier of nets and wire.

The blockade, which is understood to have been staged by about twelve French vessels protesting at cheap fish imports, left at least one ferry stranded in mid-Channel for several hours. Others were diverted to Zeebrugge.

Calais-bound passengers on board the Pride of Calais, held up for several hours off Dover, were angered early today by being told they could not disembark but must sail instead to Zeebrugge.

Balladur braves riot, page 7

Leading article, page 10

(Photograph omitted)