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Burkina Faso workers protest high living costs

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July 21, 2013 09:24 AM EST | AP


OUAGADOUGOU, Burkina Faso — Burkina Faso's prime minister says the government will begin talks with trade unions after thousands of workers joined protests around the country against rising costs for basic goods like rice and sugar.

In an interview on state television late Saturday, Luc Adolphe Tiao said talks would begin "soon" but provided no details. He also did not address protesters' concerns about the creation in May of a new Senate, which the opposition says is part of a broader scheme by President Blaise Compaore to extend his time in office.

Compaore has been in power for 26 years, but his term ends in 2015 and current rules would not permit him to run again.

Tole Sagnon, spokesman for the union that organized Saturday's protests, said the new Senate was unacceptable.