“This is the eighth station I’ve passed. I’ve tried, I’ve lost…” Between the dry banks and the stampede, Saturday’s worries for motorists on the Blue Bank

"This is the eighth station I've passed. I've tried, I've lost..." Between the dry banks and the stampede, Saturday's worries for motorists on the Blue Bank

It is at this moment that she is the only one parked along the automatic terminals at the deserted service station. This motorist has already issued his bank card. Hope was quickly dashed: all the pumps failed. – Everything, right? She understands, spins on her heels, then walks back to her car, laughing. “It’s still a shot of the old boys, huh!”

The atmosphere at the TotalEnergies station on the Cote d’Azur this Saturday afternoon. A musty atmosphere, because the vats are dry. From the Promenade des Anglais in Vence, from the Boulevard Mercantour to Cagnes-sur-Mer, similar scenes.

Stopped stations, rubalization at the entrance, “not working” pumps, totems, where the senseless “99,999” glitter. The CGT strike at the TotalEnergies and ExxonMobil refineries went through this. And his influence extends far beyond that.

– Get me out of the diesel!

“It has been going on for a week. We’re out of fuel. So we don’t do anything these days”, — sighs an employee of the TotalEnergies station. Of course, the store remained open. But the car is idling. The client was touched by the phone: “If you don’t have anything, why don’t you shut up?”

Because no matter what, the family comes to buy three and ends up having a snack. Or that a handful of motorists come to inflate their tires. An active man in a hurry tries his luck all the way to the checkout, a flirtatious smile and folded arms: “Please get me out of the diesel!” Futile efforts. He spins without losing his smile, a handsome player: “At the same time, what made me come to TotalEnergies . . .”

He knew it, these stations were struggling to make ends meet. Their employees are watching and hoping, however. “We get a truck every three days. When he comes in the morning, from 11 o’clock in the morning, we have nothing left.”, the employee notes. His colleague is worried about the assets. Like a mother who just found a new job. lack of fuel “She won’t work anymore”.

Fear of incapacity

Christel Arnois shares this fear. She is a home health aide. His son, Romain, is a pastry chef. On the rack of his Clio, the tank lights glow a ripe orange: “Out of eight measures, we have two left…” At this rate, mother and son won’t be able to use their car next week. Or Romain takes service at 5am. At the border, Kristel could return to public transport – “but I would waste a lot of time…”

A few cars away is Modwen Tournay, 42, a teacher. “This is the eighth station I’ve done. I tried, I lost!” She crossed Nice, not limited to TotalEnergies stations. Modwene is there “surprised”. She believed that the fuel shortage affected the north of France more. “I think people rushed to the train stations out of fear.” Next to her, her husband is indignant “People’s stupidity. It’s like those who threw themselves on the toilet paper in the penitentiary…”

“Learning Phenomenon”

On Saturday, October 8, according to government data, one in five French stations was running out of fuel. But watching the carousel on the roads of the Blue Bank, one might think that the effect of the “oil spill” is gaining strength, and fast. “It’s a phenomenon of panicked people training”, — believes 52-year-old Patrick, who has just refueled his Honda Civic. Matt crosses the stationary station, frustrated. “I’ll take the first one I see. I have to, I’m almost dry! Otherwise, how am I going to do Monday morning?”

Perhaps Matt found his happiness at Leclerc in Saint-Isidore. Even if a liter of unleaded reaches 2 euros. At least there is here. And diesel too. It’s no wonder that on this Saturday afternoon, when a light rain reminds the haulers, the line is getting longer.

“My husband found a diesel engine. I’ve been looking for two days and can’t find anything”, worries Noura Lubaui, an educator. she was surprised “don’t watch the news too much.” She is afraid of being told “There is nothing more.” Phew: She’ll hang up a pump gun with a smile on her face on her fortieth birthday.

“Holy Injustice”

News, Martin Provo is following him. And he approves of strikers demanding a 10% pay rise for the group, which made €10.6 billion in first-half profits. “They are right. Let them continue! There are still other stations, it’s not the end of the world”, puts this 29-year-old glacier in perspective. He covers 40 kilometers every day between Cannes and Cannes. It was time to come: his BMW 3 series was parked.

On the Cote d’Azur, we are still a long way from the XXL queues seen in Marseille or the Paris region. Nevertheless: Allen Salas condemns “holy injustice.” He whips “fuel dealers” World Health Organization “Let the situation get worse.” This Laurentin, who recently retired, suspects a price-catch-up strategy after a summer of low prices, reinforced by “fuel discount” state Then again, he’s not complaining too much: when it comes to fuel, his Toyota CHR hybrid has plenty of resources. “But whoever works with diesel is really in the m…”.

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