France to reprieve truckers

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Paris (Reuter) - The Justice Ministry asked prosecutors yesterday to drop charges against hundreds of truckers who paralysed motorways earlier this month with a 10-day strike. But the Justice Minister, Michel Vauzelle, told prosecutors in a letter to continue to press charges against a minority of protesters accused of violence.

The letter asked that charges for blocking roads in protest against a new points-based driving licence be dropped 'for the sake of calming the atmosphere and in recognition of negotiations now under way'.

The decision came as an opinion poll showed a record 76 per cent of French voters believe they are badly governed.