Europe 1 with AFP 09:35, 07 September 2023Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire on Thursday asked the giant TotalEnergies to extend its cap on prices at the pump "beyond December 31". On the other hand, the government rules out any new generalized rebates on fuel prices.
In the midst of a rise in oil prices, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire on Thursday asked the giant TotalEnergies to extend its cap on prices at the pump "beyond December 31". "I hope that TotalEnergies, which has made a commitment to cap the prices of all fuels, diesel and gasoline, at 1.99 euros until the end of the year, extend this cap (...) beyond December 31, 2023," the minister suggested on franceinfo.
A new government rebate ruled out
"TotalEnergies is the only major French oil company that remains to us, it must be an asset for all motorists," insisted Bruno Le Maire, before expressing his "confidence" in the fact that the boss of the energy company Patrick Pouyanné "takes into consideration the difficulties of our compatriots".
On the other hand, the government rules out any new generalized rebate on fuel prices, after having already resorted to this solution in 2022. Bruno Le Maire said on franceinfo see in this measure a "triple aberration: ecological, budgetary and diplomatic". "Two countries, Saudi Arabia and Russia, have decided to reduce their production, it obviously has an impact on the price" by restricting global supply, acknowledged the minister.
A new government rebate would amount to "pay for the oil diplomacy of Putin and Saudi Arabia"
Under these conditions, a new government rebate would, according to him, amount to "paying for the oil diplomacy of Mr. (Vladimir) Putin and Saudi Arabia".
The minister refused to engage in "apothecary accounts" with the president (LR) of the Hauts-de-France region Xavier Bertrand, who asked for a rebate of 15 to 20 cents "for all" on the liter of gasoline and accused the government of inflating the cost of such a measure exaggeratedly. "If we make a discount of 20 cents on fuel prices for a year, I confirm, it costs 12 billion euros," replied Thursday Bruno Le Maire.