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France sees 10-fold spike in electricity bills

Posted January. 05, 2023 07:58,   

Updated January. 05, 2023 07:58


The skyrocketing electricity bills across France have put the production of baguette, which costs just over one euro, at risk of being cut back. Some bakers worry that monthly electricity bills have jumped more than 10 times, leaving them with no choice but to bake baguettes.

According to AFP on Tuesday, some bakers in France warned the nation against the possibility that the sudden spikes in electricity bills would make it unaffordable for them to keep running ovens to bake the most loved French bread of baguette. The baking industry has had growing difficulty handling rising prices of butter, flour, and sugar over the one and a half years. Even with electricity getting expensive suddenly, bakers have been faced with too high production costs.

Julien Bernard-Regnard, a baker in a small village named Bourgaltroff in eastern France, told AFP that he did not ever think that power bills could force him to close the bakery, adding that he renewed a contract last September and had to pay 3.5 times. He complained that the monthly electricity bills rose from 400 to 1,500 euros, saying that bakeries are closing down almost every day. For some bakers, electricity has got costly by 10 to 12 times.

In response to the decreasing production of the staple food with the nation’s 35,000 bakers driven into a financial crisis, French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Tuesday that bakers, if struggling financially, would be allowed to get their tax payments deferred. The country’s Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire argued that it would make no sense if the government does not help bakers out despite the fact that the sector earned UNESCO world heritage status a while ago.

Eun-A Cho achim@donga.com