While a liter of petrol has long been cheaper in Spain than in France, it is now the other way around. Although in the Pyrenees, near the border, there is no rush in the localities, some Spaniards are taking advantage of the windfall to refuel and shop in French supermarkets. Report to Cierp-Gaud (Upper Garonne).
Spanish-branded cars are scattered around the parking lot of the Cierp-Gaud supermarket in southern Haute-Garonne. Just 14 kilometers from Spain, this shop recently saw some customers arrive from across the border.
Talia and Carlos, Valencians on holiday in the Spanish Pyrenees, have decided to spend the day on the French side, “mainly to visit”, they admit. But when they turn their heads to the supermarket petrol station, they notice that 95 liters of unleaded are exposed to 25 cents less than in Spain … with a little surprise. “Is it normal lead free?” asks Carlos. And he adds: “We saw it at € 1.72 from the Spanish side, and there it is only at € 1.475. Maybe we will finally fill up here before returning to Vielha! “
On the other side of the border, gasoline prices can go up a lot: some stations in the Val d’Aran offer 98 unleaded for 1.90 euros, and diesel for 2.04 euros per liter.
Also in front of the Cierp-Gaud supermarket, Dolly also came to shop in France. Although she has lived in the region for eight years, she notes that “everything has increased a lot” in recent months … Starting with gasoline. “Usually everyone in the area gets their fill in Spain. But I do it here because I have a small car, I don’t need a lot of diesel. Today the situation has changed and the flow of motorists that is filling up on the other side of the border seems to have partially reversed.
In addition to fuel, inflation on staple food also encourages people to switch countries to shop.
Food was also affected to a lesser extent
Dolly, who does the shopping “in both countries”, regularly notices the shortage of some basic necessities, which requires a little adaptation. “I don’t always find everything I need, but now I often buy directly from manufacturers,” Dolly says. In particular, for the purchase of meat, the latter tends to use small farmers rather than French or Spanish supermarkets.
On the other hand, Dolly admits: “I’m not very aware” of inflation. But she clearly notices the price increases on the receipt, on both sides of the border, and she even goes so far as to rethink her consumption habits. “Today I keep a lot more in the freezer than before. “
Faced with this period in which life is increasingly expensive, Dolly consumes a little more in France than in Spain now, but this is not her only solution. “I stay Spanish, I cook a lot at home and I do everything myself,” she concludes with pride.