France is running out of gas. The two stations nearest me in my town have both put up signs like these (above) after a huge rush to fill up on Friday night killed supplies. The BBC also reports that Charles de Gaulle airport is running on its reserve tanks, as the main pipeline bringing oil to Paris has been all but shut down. The airport expects to make it through the weekend without any major interruption, but next week’s prospects remain cloudy as unions call for more strikes on the 19th.
Most refineries in the country have been shut down or are otherwise not producing at this time. Police have broken strikes and re-opened 3 blockaded depots, but it’s unlikely that the government will use the cops to break more strikes, considering the possibly violent consequences. This is not Standard Oil, after all.
As I’ve mentioned before, an increase in the retirement age (the reason behind this mess) may bring long-term economic benefits to the country. However, in a representative government, elected officials are expected to act in tune with the demands of their constituents. If France is going down in flames, it will be the people who decide how, not the political élite.