Speed Reading — Baguette Prices - Level 5 — 200 wpm

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France is synonymous with baguettes and croissants. The baguette is currently facing a problem. Soaring energy costs are forcing bakers to close their bakeries or raise baguette prices. Wheat supply issues caused by the Ukraine War are also reducing profits for many in the baguette-making industry. One baker expressed fears for his livelihood. He may have to raise his baguette prices from one to four euros. He said: "I cannot pay an electricity bill of 12,000 euros with a turnover of 20,000 euros." He is worried because supermarkets can sell baguettes for less than a euro.

The baguette is on the UN List of Intangible Cultural Heritage. France's President Macron is worried about the baguette. He recently described it as being "250 grams of magic and perfection". France's Ministry for the Economy introduced an "electricity damper" to limit how much bakers' electricity bills can rise by. The ministry said: "Aid for bakers has been reinforced and eligible bakeries can benefit from it." Consumers are also facing tough choices. One said she didn't want to pay higher prices, but she may have to "because there is no equivalent to a baguette".

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