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French fuel shortages: are motorway service stations prioritised?

Workers at three refineries return to work and supplies are improving - but the CGT union has called for two further days of national mobilisation

The government has said that motorway service stations are being prioritised for fuel deliveries, as people begin to head off for Toussaint breaks Pic: Anze Furlan / Shutterstock

French motorway companies have assured people heading on Toussaint holiday breaks that motorway service stations are being prioritised for fuel deliveries. Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne says that people can set off “with confidence”. 

Read more: PM gives reassurances on fuel ahead of half term holidays in France

Over 90% of service stations are expected to be stocked normally by this evening (October 21), and Energy Transition Minister Agnès Pannier-Runacher has said that their reserves will be filled up “as a priority”. 

“Lorry tankers [...] will be mobilised to ease [the pressure on] logistical systems in the areas under most strain,” she added.

Ms Pannier-Runacher and Transport Minister Clément Beaune have also asked departmental prefectures to stop rationing fuel at local petrol stations. 

Frédéric Plan of the Fédération française des combustibles, carburants et chauffage, which represents fuel distributors, has said that “the weekend [...] will pass in a calm manner [...] there will be less risk of coming across dry pumps because service stations must, contractually, be supplied as a priority.” 

Union calls for two more national strike days

The CGT union has called for two further days of cross-sector, nationwide strike action on October 27 and November 10, after a first day of action on Tuesday (October 18) saw 300,000 people participate. 

This is according to CGT figures, although the interior ministry put the total at 107,000. 

The additional strike days would involve demands for pay rises for people working across different industries.

Union secretary Céline Verzeletti said that Tuesday’s strike shows that “there is a dynamic” and that “we do not want to give up”.

Strikes over pay are continuing today at two TotalEnergies refineries – in Feyzin and Gonfreville – while three others have lifted their strike action.

Read more: Fuel supplies improve in France, strike lifts in three refineries

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French fuel shortage: How to check stocks at your local petrol station

Fuel supplies improve in France, strike lifts in three refineries

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