France braces for winter as Macron adopts polo neck trend
October 3, 2022 11:14 PM
French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said Monday that the country was "ready" for the winter despite gas shortages in Europe -- providing consumers made efforts to reduce their energy consumption.
"Whatever happens, we're ready for this winter. We anticipated this situation in advance," Borne told parliament during a debate about the war in Ukraine.
She said that France had nearly filled its gas reserves and had increased the capacity of port terminals capable of processing liquefied natural gas (LNG).
"The president announced an energy-saving plan this summer. And if everyone takes part, we will get through these months without the risk of blackouts," she added.
President Emmanuel Macron appeared Monday sporting what is fast becoming the hottest autumn fashion trend in the French government, the polo neck jumper, which has become a symbol of efforts to save on heating.
The 44-year-old wore a black roll-neck jumper under a suit in a video message addressed to the French public and while greeting the president of Guinea-Bissau at the Elysees palace.
It was the latest sartorial statement from the government after Borne appeared in a fleece and a padded winter jacket last week during official business.
Macron, like Borne, drew mockery online and from political opponents but praise from supporters for encouraging people to save on unnecessary heating.
The government has advised consumers to only heat their homes once inside temperatures dip below 19 degrees Celsius (66 degrees Fahrenheit).
Ministries are under strict instructions to set an example to the rest of the country.
Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire started the turtleneck trend by swapping his shirt and tie for one last week.
Macron has paired a polo neck with a suit before, including in 2019 while hosting EU chief Charles Michel.
France generates most of its electricity from nuclear power, but is struggling with half of its production capacity offline because of corrosion problems and maintenance at its reactors.