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A sign which reads "Out of service" on fuel pumps indicates the petrol station is out of gasoline and diesel as a strike continues by transporters of hazardous materials impacts fuel distribution across the country, in Paris, France, May 31, 2017. REUTERS/Charles Platiau


PARIS (Reuters) - France's transport minister will meet transporters of hazardous materials whose five-day strike has caused fuel shortages and panic buying at petrol stations across the country, the ministry said on Wednesday.

French oil and gas company Total, said separately that about 24 percent or 83 out of its 340 petrol stations in the Ile-de-France region that includes the French capital, had ran out of fuel, compared with 40 stations the previous day.

It added that nationally, four percent of its 2,200 petrol stations were out of fuel and a picket line was hampering supply from three fuel depots which were operating at minimum capacity.

No official figures were available for the other over 11,000 petrol stations across France operated by other businesses, however, France Info radio reported that 523 petrol stations in France were completely dry, while another 400 were partially out of fuel.

The strike was called by the hardline CGT trade union which is demanding wage increases and better working conditions for drivers.

Transport Minister Elisabeth Borne said in a statement that there was no widespread shortage beyond supply difficulties at certain areas. She urged consumers not to cede to panic buying and maintain their usual consumption patterns.

(Reporting by Bate Felix; editing by Leigh Thomas)

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