Magazine article The New American

Fuel Supplies Low as France Engulfed in Protests, Strikes

Magazine article The New American

Fuel Supplies Low as France Engulfed in Protests, Strikes

Article excerpt

France is running low on fuel supplies as nationwide strikes led by labor unions paralyze roads, fuel refineries, public transportation, and more. And as of this writing (mid-October) the protests are expected to intensify.

Most of France's refineries have already been shut down by strikes. No crude can arrive due to strikes at important French ports. And protests over the weekend--with crowd estimates ranging from 800,000 to several million--struck over 200 French cities. On October 17, one of France's largest newspapers said that close to 1,000 gasoline stations were having trouble with supplies. The cause, according to Ministers, was panic buying among citizens, not actual shortages. On the 20th, the French Energy Minister said that about one-third of all gasoline stations were out of fuel. Police were attempting to reopen some depots, and the government said it was tapping into its strategic reserves.

But news reports also warned of impending jet fuel shortages at Charles de Gaulle, Paris' main international airport. Government spokesmen said a pipeline to the airport that had been shut by strikes was open again. But reports are conflicting, and unions are complaining that untrained executives re-opened the pipeline and caused a security risk. The Nice airport is already low on fuel and could run out soon, though the government said plans were being made to supply it from Italy.

Truckers, organized by union bosses, have been blocking highways in some areas of the country. …

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