Bakers in Paris and other parts of France on Wednesday (9 November) struck a telling blow of protest against Prime Minister Raymond Barre's recent anti-inflation strictures: they deprived fellow Frenchmen of their daily croissant.
GV: Moulin Rouge, Paris
GV: Closed bakery
CU: Poster on shop
CU: Poster on door
GV: Shopkeeper pulling down shutters.
CU & GV: Other bakeries and cafes closed. (SEVEN SHOTS)
Other traders and cafe owners closed in anger against pegged prices for meat and fish, sandwiches and drinks.
The French government clamped down on food shops partly because many had allegedly failed to pass on to the consumer tax cuts introduced last year. Many householders expected difficulties since some bakeries said they would not re-open on Thursday (10 November) and the following day was the Armistice Day annual holiday. Butchers, bakers and greengrocers made their protests one day after two of France's major left-wing union groupings called for a general strike on December 1st to protest against the government's overall economic policies.
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Background: Bakers in Paris and other parts of France on Wednesday (9 November) struck a telling blow of protest against Prime Minister Raymond Barre's recent anti-inflation strictures: they deprived fellow Frenchmen of their daily croissant. Almost all small bakeries closed for the day and, in the afternoon, shutters dropped as small groceries, butchers and cafes joined the protest. Last week, Monsieur Barre announced lower maximum prices for some foodstuffs, ranging from chicken and veal to the vital croissant.
SYNOPSIS: The Prime Minister had put on the price ceilings because France's price index rose almost one percent in October. A closed bakery was a strange sight; they normally stay open longer than all other shops.
Bakers put up posters sardonically congratulating Monsieur Barre for dynamic action. They declared he had saved the nation by officially dropping the price of a butter croissant in Paris from one franc 60 centimes to one franc 20.
Bakers were also miffed that he had decreed a minimum size to thwart them from selling smaller croissants. These crescent-shaped buns are to the Frenchman's daily diet what cups of tea are to the English. In eastern France, however, bakers actually raised their prices to the new government-approved levels.