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Road to Winter Olympics still rocky

Political unrest could still disrupt Games

Italian labor unions have agreed to a strike truce during next month’s Winter Olympics in Turin, from which NBC Universal is to beam a record 416 hours of TV coverage next month.

But political unrest could still disrupt the Feb. 10-26 Games.

Alitalia airline workers have agreed to postpone a strike planned on the eve and opening days of the Games in an accord inked with the government Wednesday that is expected to avert all transportation strikes.

However, residents of the Val di Susa valley — which connects the main Olympic Alpine venues — are threatening to block roads in protest against construction of a high-speed railway and tunnel linking Turin to Lyon, France.

Massive roadblocks and protests over the hot-button environmental issue created traffic chaos in November.

“We are waiting for answers from the government,” said Roberto Barbon, deputy major of Bruzolo, a town in the valley. “Unless we get them, they should not fool themselves into expecting us to remain idle until the end of the Games,” the feisty official warned financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore on Thursday.

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