Are local gas stations becoming the new symbols of territories?

A gas station is not a school. « We have never seen a protest to save the last gas pump in a village. It is not ‘bankable’. But that doesn’t stop people from complaining if it closes, » says Joël Balanraud, Deputy Secretary General of the Association of Mayors of France (AMF) and elected official in Mayenne. Symbolically, without even mentioning the economy, the government seems to have stumbled with its loss-making sale of fuel. This fuels the idea that decisions made in Paris are disconnected from reality, that once again, the « small » (independent private stations that cannot make up for it by making margins on other products) are sacrificed for the benefit of the « big » (hypermarkets). To defend « their » pump, the French might be willing to lose a few euros on their fill-up. Once again, « diesel and cigarettes » catch up with the executive.