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Fears of fuel shortage growing in France as strikes at refineries continue

Cars line up for fuel at a gas station in Lille, north France, Oct. 6, 2022. (Photo by Sebastien Courdji/Xinhua)

Paris, France | Xinhua | Strikes in France’s major refineries continued on Monday, leading to fuel-related panics in the country.

The strikes at TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil refineries will extend to Tuesday, the General Confederation of Labour (CGT) said.

According to the Ministry for Energy Transition, 29.4 percent of service stations in the country were experiencing difficulties with at least one product on Monday, compared to 19 percent on Friday.

French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne organized an urgent crisis meeting Monday evening. According to French media, the government will ban the filling of fuel jerry cans across the country.

The strikers’ actions have led to a decrease in fuel deliveries, provoking fears and long hours of waiting. School bus transportation was also affected by the strikes.

“The French must not be prisoners of this social conflict which does not concern them,” said Minister for Energy Transition Agnes Pannier-Runacher on Monday.

In addition to the strikes, the price of fuel has increased in the last seven days. In order to counterbalance the fuel shortage, the French government has released significant volumes of fuel from its strategic stocks and reinforced fuel imports from Belgium.

Over the weekend, TotalEnergies and the CGT agreed to start negotiations but no agreement was concluded.

The strikers demand a raise in salary to compensate for the high inflation that France is experiencing. ■


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