It’s getting hot in the bakeries because of the prohibitive rise in electricity bills. But the government’s firemen are not credible: they are also the arsonists !
Trying to extinguish a fire that has been smoldering under the ashes for months and months is a tricky, if not impossible, operation. As proof, the desperate explanations of the Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne and the Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, to try to respond to the anguish of bakers facing the unimaginable increase in electricity bills. To the point of putting at stake the survival of these small craftsmen.
A cautery on a wooden leg
Among the measures announced by Elisabeth Borne, to help bakers, they will be able to ask for the postponement of taxes and social contributions and spread their bills over several months. The head of government estimates that the State will be able to reduce electricity bills by about 40%.
As for Bruno Le Maire, he specifies that bakers will be able to terminate their contracts free of charge if the energy rates are prohibitive!
Small measures that are not up to the challenge because, let’s remember, the increase in electricity bills for bakers, but also for many SMEs is about 5, 10, even 50 times higher from one month to another. Many will not survive.
The nuclear park in the doldrums
The rise in the price of energy, and of electricity in particular, is not new. It is the result of an erratic, lax and even stupid policy that successive governments have been pursuing for months, if not years.
First of all, the rise in the price of electricity is due to the calamitous state of the French nuclear fleet. Twenty-six of its fifty-six reactors are shut down for maintenance. The aging of the reactors was not anticipated. Among the causes of these shutdowns: a phenomenon of stress corrosion cracking (SCC) corresponding to small cracks near welds on stainless steel circuits. EDF had to call on several hundred American welders from the company Westinghouse.
The European electricity market
While France used to be self-sufficient in electricity and even exported it, it now has to buy its electricity at high prices on the European market. The EU has opened up national markets to competition, linked by a European electricity transmission network common to 35 countries. The European market is “managed” by an exchange, EPEX Spot SE
where producers and traders negotiate the price per MWh.
It should be noted that the price of electricity is calculated on the price of gas, since it is gas-fired power plants that produce electricity in many countries.
The war in Ukraine
And so the Russian-Ukrainian war enters the dance. Since February 24, 2022 and the sanctions applied to Russia by the United States and Western countries, gas has become scarcer. Especially since on September 27, 2022, the two pipelines carrying Russian gas to Europe were destroyed in the Baltic Sea.
The boomerang effect, households, bakers, businesses are experiencing it today. Cruelly.
Who said a few months ago: “We are going to cause the collapse of the Russian economy? A pyromaniac firefighter who would like today to extinguish a fire that neither he nor anyone else really controls.
Bruno Le Maire: "Je demande aux fournisseurs d'énergie de faire plus, de faire mieux et de le faire tout de suite" pic.twitter.com/Ig9mhka1Qo
— BFM Business (@bfmbusiness) January 3, 2023
Borne demande aux énergéticiens d’étaler le paiement des factures, les entreprises pourront demander un report du paiement de leurs impôts et de leurs cotisations.
RIDICULE ! Les PME feront faillite si on ne sort pas du marché européen de l’électricité 😡pic.twitter.com/FPHngNXxXD
— Carėne Tardy (@Carene1984) January 3, 2023