The French strike that began on the 5th has been confirmed to continue this week. The strike requires opposition to the government’s pension reform, but the French business community is worried that the strike will cause serious losses to the current economy. The 24 French news stations and the 2 French national television commented that although the strikes were mainly concentrated in the field of public transportation, continued traffic paralysis would directly affect the economy. French BFM TV also believes that the “yellow vest” movement that has lasted for nearly a year has just subsided, and the strike that swept across France is a serious threat to France’s emerging economy.
The transport industry may become the biggest loser of the strike. Since the strike began, France ’s national railway operating rate has been only about 50%, and the first weekend after the strike is only 10% -15% of the number of trains to ensure operation. In the “hardest hit area” of Paris, the proportion of public transportation is only 20% -30%. Last Sunday, only two driverless lines, Line 1 and Line 14, and some Unicom Airport lines could operate on the entire Paris Metro line.
The strike also led to the cancellation or delay of high-speed rail trains connecting France and Germany, especially those to and from major cities such as Paris and Strasbourg. 30% of Air France ’s domestic flights and nearly 10% of mid-range flights have been cancelled. European airlines such as Lufthansa, EasyJet and Ryanair have also cancelled many French flights. At the same time, truck drivers in France protested against the increase in fuel taxes. Protests against highway blockades and toll stations since the end of November have spread across the country.
“I think the strikers must have at least a sense of responsibility.” On the day of the strike on December 5, Aslan, chairman of the French SMEs Association, told the media that the strike of the transportation sector on that day will bring France the whole country The economic loss of 400 million euros, especially in the surrounding areas of Paris, accounted for half of the total loss. He also said that if the strike continues, the French economy will suffer even more damage.
Store traffic has dropped significantly
“This strike makes us even more worried about the damage to the image of Paris.” The French newspaper Le Monde cited the French Hotel Industry Association as saying on the 7th that the first day of the strike, Paris and its administrative region ’s hotel bookings were greatly reduced by 30. % -40%, located in Paris, the world’s largest fresh raw materials wholesale market-in the Rungis market, more than 1,200 retailers have increased their inventory in advance to prevent the strike-caused transportation blockage.
According to the announcement issued by the Confederation of French SMEs, French merchants have suffered a heavy blow due to the ongoing “yellow vest” campaign, and e-commerce companies such as Amazon have taken this to steal business from many block stores, making it difficult for physical merchants to survive.
“Parisian” according to data analysis by the French Institute of Statistics and Economics said that the strike on December 5 alone caused the national store sales to fall by about 30%, Paris store sales fell by 50%, Stella Fort & Marseille fell 60%.
Endangering economic pillars
“The big strike may hurt the pillars of the French economy.” German “Economic Weekly” analysis on the 8th said that how big the crisis in the French strike really depends on the duration. If the time continues for many months like the Hong Kong protests and demonstrations, France’s transportation, hotel, catering, retail and other tourism-related industries will be severely damaged. Famous tourist sites in Paris, such as the Eiffel Tower, have been closed since the first day of the strike. Large Paris museums such as the Louvre are also restricted. Tourists on the Seine also dropped significantly. Laurent Duke of the French Hotel Association criticises that on the weekend when people started Christmas shopping, “the strike blocked everything.”
“This may be just the beginning,” German News TV said on the 8th, if France’s strike continues until Christmas, it will hurt France’s Christmas economy. Christmas sales even account for 1/3 to 1/2 of the annual turnover of many retail stores. Moreover, the strike wave may “Europeanize” and spread to neighboring countries such as Germany. The European economy may therefore add another factor of instability.