You don’t want to be traveling in or to Europe these days. In Germany, Lufthansa’s pilots went on strike this morning, grounding 3200 planes. “The largest strike in the history of German aviation” (Die Welt) paralyzed German air traffic, and caused jams on the ground as travelers switched from planes to trains and automobiles.
Meanwhile next door in France, a nation is running out of gas. Workers at the six refineries owned by the country’s biggest oil group, Total, have been striking for more than a month. The work stoppage threatens to spread “to the two French oil refineries owned by US group Exxon Mobil, where strikes are planned for Tuesday,” reports the BBC.
“The government will take measures to ensure that France will not be locked down,” Industry Minister Christian Estrosi said in a radio interview, without elaborating on how they will do that.
Setting the law of supply and demand on its head, the strike in France is being blamed for the fact that “oil prices topped 80 dollars a barrel on Monday as a strike at French energy giant Total rattled the market,” AFP says. Ah, there are also “concerns over Iran’s nuclear program.”
Let’s just hope that striking refinery workers in France will not resort to the ancient tradition to blow up their factory. It could really be – inflammatory.