Politics

In the Loiret, the people of diesel

Posted today at 6:00 a.m.

Well aligned on the dew-pearl grass, a dozen cars from the 1990s soak up the humidity in front of the Fauvin garage in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, in the Loiret. Some are really at the end of the race – in the afternoon, a car transporter will pick up one to take it to a car recycling center in Nemours – but others are looking for a new chance. A little tired, a gray Citroën C4 Picasso awaits a diesel engine transplant.

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After much research, Yoann Fauvin, 44 years old, found one with a thug. It is not young and displays 100,000 kilometers on the clock, but it is half the distance covered by the one who has just died. Enough to make Christine Gobet, 58, smile. Every morning, she gets up at 4 a.m. to arrive on time in Saran, in the suburbs of Orleans, where she works as a parcel preparer at Amazon.

The Fauvin garage, in Saint-Germain-des-Prés (Loiret), September 28, 2021. On the right, Christine Gobet, 58, next to her 11-year-old Citroën Picasso diesel, whose engine has accumulated more than 200,000 kilometers on the clock, gave up the ghost.

From Saint-Germain-des-Prés, a town of barely 2,000 inhabitants between Montargis and Château-Renard, the round trip represents 140 kilometers to cover every day. For this widow who has raised her two children for a long time and is running after her quarters of contribution, the failure of her Citroën is a big blow. The bill should not be less than 3,000 euros, while his monthly net salary is 1,400 euros “With a transport premium of 16.99 euros”, she specifies, stifling a slight laugh.

“280 euros of fuel per month”

For Christine Gobet, there is no salvation outside of diesel. “Impossible to pay me a gasoline which will consume more for a price at the pump higher than 15 euro cents. I already have 280 euros worth of fuel per month, not to mention the price of gas and electricity, which are also exploding ”, explains in a calm voice this woman who participated in the movement of “yellow vests” before throwing in the towel, “From the moment things got violent”.

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Acquired three years ago for 3,000 euros – roughly what the replacement of the engine will cost him -, his Picasso, “Simple tool to go from one point to another”, is subject, as she well knows, like any vehicle bought at a low price, to a form of mechanical precariousness. “My anxiety is to break down in the early morning in the middle of the forest of Orleans, so I respect the schedule of revisions”, assures Christine Gobet.

Jérôme Boyer, one of the employees of the Fauvin garage, repairs a customer's wheel, in Saint-Germain-des-Prés (Loiret), September 28, 2021.
Drain oil on the floor of the Fauvin garage, in Saint-Germain-des-Prés (Loiret), September 28, 2021.

“In my situation, I have absolutely no choice. People who live in Paris and in the big cities don’t know what it’s like to not be able to do anything without a car. When I hear Barbara Pompili [ministre de l’écologie] advise the practice of cycling or Anne Hidalgo advocate the limitation to 110 km / hour on the motorway or the ban on diesel, I tell myself that they should not often drive, she suddenly tenses up. Dieselgate has done a lot for the stigma of diesel, but those with no other option are left out because they do not fit into the rationality imposed by those in charge. This is true for the car but also for the health pass ”, protests Christine Gobet, who however specifies having been vaccinated of her own free will.

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Ray Richard

Head of technical department in some websites, I have been in the field of electronic journalism for 12 years and I am interested in travel, trips and discovering the world of technology.

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