France has failed to escape the inflation crisis that is haunting Europe and being driven by rising food and energy costs. The calamity has been blamed on factors ranging from a global supply chain crisis and the COVID-related economic downturn to the bloc’s rejection of cost-competitive and reliable Russian energy supplies.
French municipalities have begun distributing food vouchers to help families cope with spiralling inflation, France 2 TV reports.
The certificates, which can be cashed in at supermarkets, include 5, 20 and 30 euro denominations, and are being distributed by some city administrations.
“Everything has increased in price, everything, even pasta”, pensioner Bernadette Chacornac told the outlet. “I have my partner, I have my son, so for all three of us together that’s quite a sum”, she said.
Lionel Buchet, mayor of the commune of Saint-Arcons-de-Barges, confided to France 2 that “food has jumped terribly in recent weeks, in recent months”, and expressed concerns that “this is just the start”.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin commented on the European Union’s moves to reduce purchases of Russian energy last week, saying that such restrictions were being introduced for “absolutely political reasons” at the behest of Brussels’ American “overlords”.
“Obviously, together with Russian energy resources, economic activity will also be leaving Europe for other regions of the world. Such an economic auto-da-fe, or suicide, is of course the internal affair of European countries. We must proceed pragmatically and primarily from our own economic interests”, Putin said.