‘The end of plenty’: Macron warns of ‘big upheaval’ as European economy implodes

French President Emmanuel Macron warned that the French would face severe food and energy shortages at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday as winter approaches and soaring energy prices have crippled the economy European.

Macron told the cabinet that “freedom has a cost”, referring to the ongoing war in Ukraine which has inflicted dire consequences on global food and energy prices, Reuters reported. The French government faces a decision to renew electricity and gas price caps that expire at the end of 2022, as winter approaches, inflation soars and natural gas from Russia falls drip, which raises fears that Russia will completely cut off gas flows. (RELATED: Europe begs authoritarian countries for gas amid energy crisis)

“I believe that we are experiencing a tipping point or a major upheaval. Firstly because we are living … what could look like the end of plenty,” Macron said, Barron’s reported.

“The battles we have to fight…will only be won through our efforts,” he added.

Europe’s economy is in free fall as the euro dips below parity with the dollar, inflation is soaring across the continent and analysts are predicting a recession, Reuters reported. Price caps and additional tax cuts on fuel have kept inflation in France under control compared to other European economies.

Inflation figures in France in July hit a record 6.1%, according to data from Trading Economics. The consumer price index, a measure comparing a country’s inflation to that of other EU members, rose 6.8% year-on-year, the highest ever recorded.

However, Macron said state coffers could not sustain the long-term measures, according to Reuters.

“There could be price increases,” government spokesman Olivier Veran said after the cabinet meeting, Reuters reported. He added that the government will put in place legislation to expand energy infrastructure and work on measures to ensure energy supplies as Europe faces extreme shortages.

Possible measures include implementing an “energy restriction plan” that outlines small steps people can take to reduce their consumption, such as turning off lights when leaving the office, Veran told Reuters.

About 17% of France’s natural gas consumption is imported from Russia, less than some of France’s neighbours, Reuters reported. In July, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire suggested that France would prepare for a total cut off of Russian gas despite the lack of alternative sources, as French nuclear reactors were inoperative due to maintenance problems.

The government may also consider reforming pension and unemployment benefit programs, according to Reuters.

Macron had promised to continue supporting Ukraine in its “long-term” war against Russia despite its economic impact, Barron’s reported.

New aid pledges to Ukraine from EU countries dried up in July, although the amount actually disbursed from earlier pledges rose, Newsweek reported.

Unions have called strikes on September 29 to demand wage increases and protest the sacrifices CGT union leader Philippe Martinez has said France’s poorest are not ready to make, Barron reported.

The French government did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

Content created by the Daily Caller News Foundation is available at no cost to any eligible news publisher who can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

Mary I. Bruner