October 26, 2021

Travel In France Difficult Due To Continued Strikes

gas station

Fuel is scarce in France at the moment causing major problems for airlines, gas stations and businesses that are fuel dependent

With the complete shut down of France’s refineries and current transportation strike, it’s hard to get anywhere in France these days. If you land at the airport, you are not able to hail a taxi to your destination. Flights through Air France have been canceled due to lack of fuel.

Air France estimates each day of the strike costs them €5 million or $7 million. With 6 national strike days since early September, that will bring the total loss to €30 million. Still, unions are calling for another day of national strikes on October 28.

About 20 percent of gas stations in France are out of gas completely. Earlier in the week it was nearly 40 percent that were empty, but since Tuesday the government began unblocking depots so tankers can get to them.

The fuel shortages have come from refineries shutting down and strikers blocking access to fuel depots. All in a protest to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy is trying to reform the money losing pension system. He says that giving them a generous retirement is no longer in the budget as France can no longer afford it’s retirement system.

In an effort to help the economy, the unrest has made things worse. The total damage that has been done is still being calculated. Jobs have been lost and companies are losing money. Christian Roux, president of a service station owner’s lobby, estimates that the strike will have cost it’s members €10,000 each, and that number will continue to grow.

The upper house of the French Parliament will vote Friday night on whether or not to raise the retirement age.