If you’re planning a jaunt across the Channel to Paris, be warned: French bakers have gone on mass holiday, making it difficult to get hold of a decent baguette in the French capital.
Usually, bakers have their summer holidays strictly regulated, to ensure that Parisians are kept in baguettes throughout the summer months.
This summer, for the first time in 50 years, in an attempt to reform labour markets the French government decided to shake things up a bit, loosen the bureaucratic strings and allow even bakers to take their hols whenever they pleased.
The unwanted consequence? Everyone’s scampered off at the same time, leaving a good deal of bakeries closed at the same time, and Parisians grumbling over the lack of coordination - and the lack of decent bread.
Food blogger Rémi Héluin told the Financial Times that two thirds of the city’s bakeries have closed in August:
Parisians are in a grotesque situation.
The newspaper reports that the baguette shortage is forcing people to buy their bread in supermarkets instead.
Under the previous system, bakeries had to coordinate and report their holidays, ensuring that even during July and August every neighbourhood would have at least one bakery open, to provide the essential public service.