Speaking at an economic conference in Aix-en-Provence, Le Maire told his audience that the time is now "for a total cut-off of Russian gas," adding that "this is the most likely option" to occur in the next phase of the "great reset."
"You also have to prepare load-shedding plans; we are doing it," Le Maire added in a follow-up statement to reporters.
"It means looking in a very specific way at each company, each employment area; Which are the companies that should reduce their energy consumption and which are the ones that cannot?"
In other words, Western European governments are planning to ration energy and decide who gets to use what. The French government is compiling a list as we speak about who still deserves energy and who deserves to be cut off and plunged into darkness.
"We have to anticipate and to put ourselves in order of battle as of now," he explained.
Over the past several months, Europe's energy situation has gone from bad to worse. Countries that refuse to play ball with Russia are seeing pipelines shut off and costs skyrocket, France and Germany being two prominent examples.
Starting Monday, the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which runs through Germany as a main conduit for Russian natural gas, will be offline for 10 days due to "maintenance." Some speculate that it will never come back online.
"Germany's population of some 80-million is reliant on Russia for over one-third of total gas supplies, and there's no immediate alternative," reports Zero Hedge.
"Should Moscow use 'routine' maintenance as an excuse to keep supplies halted, some German publications are even predicting social unrest as the squeeze gets put on the working class population in particular."
Many German households are already rationing hot water and electricity as ordered by the government. Letters went out to renters warning about dramatic price increases, even for flat-rate utilities costs that are typically included in the standard rent payment.
"One housing company in Berlin is announcing a 100% increase in heating prices for apartments heated with gas or oil," one report revealed.
"Whether this will be enough is not clear. The high energy prices have a delayed impact because the advance payments are not offset against the actual costs incurred until the end of the year."
In a worst-case scenario, which seems to be what will happen next, Russian oil will stop flowing to Germany, France and other Western European countries completely. This will lead to "the entire economy [being] affected," according to German news outlet DW.
If Russian gas supplies fail, Germany's economic output could drop by 12.7 percent before 2023, which is a substantial amount.
July 22 is the pre-scheduled date that marks the theoretical end of maintenance on Nord Stream 1 to "test mechanical and automated systems." If any "problems" are discovered, however, then Russia will have the autonomy to extend the "maintenance shut-off" indefinitely.
"While we all spend most of our market time thinking about the Fed and a recession, I suspect what happens to Russian gas in H2 is potentially an even bigger story," warned Deutsche Bank strategist Jim Reid.
"Of course by July 22nd, parts may have been found and the supply might start to normalise. Anyone who tells you they know what is going to happen here is guessing but at minimum it should be a huge focal point for everyone in markets."
More related new coverage about the energy crisis in Europe can be found at Collapse.news.
Sources for this article include: