EuroFail: It can't happen here!(from independent.ie, 10/18/10)
France to run out of fuel in days as strikes escalate
Petrol pumps could run dry in France by Wednesday, experts warned yesterday, as the stand-off over pension reforms reached crisis point.
Airlines advised pilots to refuel abroad and UFIP, the country’s oil industry association, said that if strikes continued at all 12 of France’s refineries, then national shortages would follow.
Christine Lagarde, France’s finance minister, said 230 of the country’s 13,000 stations were out of fuel and Total, the French oil company, said 350 to 400 petrol stations were suffering disrupted supplies. Shortages looked set to worsen as lorry drivers pledged to halt road transport of fuel to filling stations from last night.
“We have found the means to cope with the worst moments of the crisis so far, but we cannot hold out forever,” warned Jean-Louis Schilansky, UFIP’s president.
Striking workers continued to block the Fos-Lavera fuel terminal near Marseille, where 61 ships and 47 petrol tankers are unable to offload.