As a symbol of a poorly designed European economy to which extreme left and right politicians have rallied from the beginning, the first casualties of this period of high inflation are bakers. We all have memories of the smell of bread, chocolate croissants, and pastries that wafted out of bakery doors as we passed by. This may soon be just a memory, as many bakers are starting to file for bankruptcy due to completely outrageous energy bills that they cannot afford to pay.
In Europe, the choice was made to align energy prices with the price of gas. It takes a very twisted mind to align these types of prices with very volatile markets, and the reality was mainly to collect maximum taxes. For example, in France, there are already 10% of taxes on all types of oil, which would make you pay over $8 per gallon here in the USA. It is likely that this would bring a gust of revolt. In Europe, people have always been told that taxes were for their own good, which was true until the mid-seventies, but is no longer the case today. The majority of this money is mainly used to pay politicians who aim only for their own interests and those of their banker and industrial friends.
The very poor management of COVID-19 in France has already dealt a blow to all businesses, as it was impossible to move freely for almost two years. Many businesses had already disappeared, and now with bills that are around or exceed 8000 Euros per month for gas, for example, for bakers or electricity, it is very difficult for bakers to make profits to pay their employees. Some have already started to lay off workers. In addition, the price of butter, flour, milk, and other ingredients has skyrocketed with inflation, which is not slowing down, but rather amplifying. This problem for bakers is also indicative of the problems that the French population has in feeding itself.
The same is true for professions such as butchers, fishmongers, etc. The industry is also affected, in the manufacturing sector of paper, glass, etc. With a government under the orders of Brussels, which is bound by European decrees and the detestable Maastricht agreement, it is an entire country that is plunging into poverty and precariousness. Only the richest are living better and better because the system is more than favorable to them.
Bakers, like butchers and other shopkeepers, are the soul of France. Losing them is like parting with a cultural treasure, just like small bars in villages that are synonymous with social ties. This is where everyone discusses, a kind word while taking their bread, conversations and friendships that are born. The earthquake caused by the distress of these bakers is a real heartbreak for the population, but the dream of Brussels will be achieved, only the industrialists will survive, and very few bakeries will be able to survive this financial nightmare.
Thierry De Clémensat