November 27, 2022

Taylor Daily Press

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In Paris, half of the gas stations are dry, and the French are now chasing the last drops of gasoline

In Paris, half of the gas stations are dry, and the French are now chasing the last drops of gasoline

After weeks of strikes at refineries and storage sites, the whole of France is running short of fuel. Almost half of Paris gas stations are now partially or completely dry. Despite the cautionary words of President Emmanuel Macron, the end of the strike is not yet in sight.

Eileen Huisman

As soon as the security forces left in camouflage suits, bottles of mango juice appeared again. The empty bottles, of course, which are hastily filled here with what remains at the LeClerc gas station, located in Périphérique, the ring road of Paris. Filled with bright yellow fuel disappearing into the stumps again Among the dozens of scooters huddled around the pump – Paris can also order takeaway tonight.

The whole of France is facing fuel shortages after two weeks of strikes at the refineries and storage sites of Total Energy and ExxonMobil. Nationwide, about 30 percent of gas stations are now running short or even complete fuel shortages, in Paris that’s nearly half. French media reported that 2,000 gas stations were completely sold out on Monday morning. For stock points that are still open, there have been traffic jams of up to several hours since last Saturday.

For someone who waited nearly four hours to fill his tank, Bismillah Khan was noticeably smiling. To prevent leakage, stretch a piece of plastic wrap over the bottle before closing the cap. An Uber Afghan delivery person can go two days ahead, but above all: they can help a friend. “I am so happy if I can help someone,” says Khan, waiting for a fellow friend to make a credit card payment.

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At the gas station, where payment can only be made with a credit card, an active trade in fuel began on Monday. Women pull tractors in wagons or bags, motorists approach motorists and ask if they can pay for it with their payment card for cash, caterers fill their cooler bags with plastic fuel bottles that they redistribute along the way among colleagues – those who are not They have a residence permit and usually do not have a credit card.

Spend the week in peace

Storing extra inventory is already prohibited here. But after the departure of the security forces, five powerful militants, no one cared about them anymore. Every now and then an angry motorist jumps out of his car: everyone must stand in line, as most have done for several hours while scooter riders and pedestrians move around. Another gets out of the car to push him the last few meters to the pump.

Strikers from the CGT union are calling for a 10 per cent wage increase at TotalEnergies, due to inflation and the company’s big profits thanks to higher energy prices. In addition, the compensation must also be applied retroactively until 2022. At the end of September, TotalEnergies announced that it would distribute an extraordinary dividend of 2.62 billion euros to its shareholders.

At the pumping station in Paris, people shrugged their shoulders over salary requirements. There is no room for misunderstanding or misunderstanding, the main concern here is to get through the week peacefully. “That’s a lot in Paris, where we’re all trapped,” says Bailey (who doesn’t want to share the last name). “It’s good that the security forces came to see it. Last weekend the fighting was at the pump here. There were guys who came to stock up on 500 liters, and they had weapons.” French media have already reported a stabbing incident during an argument about moving forward, after which the driver ended up in hospital.

And on Sunday evening, the management of the French multinational promised to put forward the planned salary negotiations. It was scheduled to take place in mid-November, two months earlier than usual, but could start as early as this month, provided the strike is stopped. But for now, the end is not in sight. Despite warnings from President Emmanuel Macron, who on Monday said the blockade was “no way to negotiate”, the CGT leadership announced Monday afternoon that it would extend the strike at TotalEnergies for at least another day, in the absence of guarantees that the salary would be required. You will meet. In addition, promotions extend to the gas stations themselves.


Meanwhile, the French government is relying on strategic reserves to resupply empty tanks. The protests have cut France’s total fuel production by 60 percent. But government spokesman Olivier Veran said the discount French customers get at the pump, this and the last month of up to 30 euro cents per liter, also contributed to the shortage. “Some stations are victims of their own success.” Ferrand refused to talk about a shortage last week, and feared that the French would start hoarding large quantities.

Fifteen minutes by bike, weekend traffic jams were already resolved, TotalEnergies station was cordoned off with red and white tape and all hoses were fitted with an ‘Out of Duty’ flyer. Taxi driver Yann Njoh is obligated to be free today. The engine started: “I’ve been looking for a refueling option for three days. Look, I have four kilometers left. I live two miles from here. There is no other choice but to go home and wait for a nearby gas station to be restocked.”

Njoh constantly monitors developments via phone calls with colleagues and apps that monitor stocks live based on government data and updates from motorists. But where the display half an hour ago was still green, the stock is now gone. Today he can do no more than inflate tires. Or in any case, Ngoh decided a little later: before returning home, he quickly dives into the neighboring store to buy a new bowl.