Does France face a 'baguette crisis' now that a new law has scrapped restrictions on bakers' summer holidays?

Economic reform relaxes historical restrictions on Parisian bakers, allowing them to shut up shop for the summer

Alexander Sehmer
Tuesday 25 August 2015 15:56
French bakers can now take holiday whenever they like in the summer
French bakers can now take holiday whenever they like in the summer

Parisian bakers have been given the right to take holiday whenever they choose, meaning the French may have to look a little further for their daily bread this summer.

A change in the law, which had historically regulated time-off at the capital's boulangeries, has meant French bakers can now take holiday for as long as they want in July and August.

So will Parisians be left to eat cake?

In fact it is unlikely that fears of a baguette shortage this summer will be realised, not least as the capital's supermarkets will remain open.

The new rules feature among economic reforms introduced by Emmanuel Macron, the economy minister and a former investment banker.

Mr Macron's changes are part of efforts to cut red tape.

It marks a change to an old law, dating back to the time of the French Revolution, that had required bakers to register any closures with local officials.

The law also required bakers to place notices in the windows of their shops telling customers where the nearest open bakery was located.

The rules were intended to ensure that each district in Paris always had a working patisserie.

Failure to comply led to a fine, albeit reportedly only a minor one of between €11 and €33 (£11-24).

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