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500 French bakeries stage one-day closure to protest sky-high energy prices

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Oct 27, 2022 - 12:40 AM

PARIS (AA) – No baguettes, no croissants: Tuesday was a sad day for hundreds of French bakeries and their countless dedicated customers alike.

With their stores suffering from skyrocketing energy costs, 500 bakers in France staged a protest on what they called a “Day of Mourning” by shuttering their storefronts.

The protest action was intended to draw attention to the serious problems in bakeries, which normally bake their goods on the premises.

“My electricity bill has jumped from €400 ($401) to €1,200 a month. This means that I have to take out a gross salary just for the energy costs. That’s not manageable,” said one baker who took part in the action, speaking to French news outlet France Bleue.

While the French government has introduced a kind of shield whose goal is to limit the rise in energy prices for small businesses to 15%, these businesses must meet three criteria to benefit: revenues of less than €2 million per year, 10 employees or less, and limited electricity consumption.

However, this last requirement is impossible to meet for 80% of bakers, according to France Bleue, because their ovens, kneading machines, and cold rooms require huge outlays of energy.

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