Paris (AFP)

The government, faced with a surge in the price of energy and in particular gas, on Tuesday announced measures "in the very next few days" to defuse the risks of a protest movement recalling the yellow vests in the middle of the presidential campaign.

On Monday, the energy regulator announced a 12.6% increase including tax on October 1 in regulated gas prices applied by Engie, in the wake of rising market prices.

Prices are at high levels in Europe for various reasons: low stocks, high demand in Asia, inability of Norway and Russia to increase their deliveries.

"We have indeed a very strong increase, which arouses a perfectly legitimate concern of our compatriots", admitted Tuesday on Cnews the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire.

The subject is all the more thorny as an increase in regulated electricity prices should follow early next year.

UFC-Que Choose fears a 10% increase.

- "Social bomb" -

"It's a social time bomb that will come very quickly, like the + yellow vests +", warned on France 2 the former socialist minister Ségolène Royal.

Energy prices keep increasing as winter approaches, like gas prices PIERRE ANDRIEU AFP / Archives

Sharing this concern, the executive had already anticipated by announcing on September 15 an exceptional energy check of 100 euros to help nearly 6 million low-income households to pay their energy bills.

Engie also announced Tuesday that its advisers will be able to grant "installments of payment".

Six months before the presidential election, the subject is too inflammable to let the political oppositions, which multiply the proposals, occupy the ground alone.

Questioned during questions to the government in the Assembly, Jean Castex said he had asked his services "for additional actions which will be presented in the next few days".

According to a government source interviewed by AFP, these measures aimed at households and businesses would not necessarily be tax levers (VAT) or a new extension to the energy check, but could concern upstream smoothing mechanisms in construction. price.

Discussions are underway, the president of the Energy Regulatory Commission (CRE) said on Tuesday, warning against the forecasts.

“We still have to work all October, all November, until December 15, there is a budget that will be voted in Parliament, prices that will arrive, there are negotiations that are underway. time to talk about it, but time to think about it, "said Jean-François Carenco on BFM Business.

- Remove taxes -

But for the opposition parties, drastic measures must be taken immediately by reducing taxes.

"What is most scandalous (...) is that thanks to taxes and VAT, the more the French suffocate, the more the state gets richer," said the candidate on Twitter. RN to the presidential Marine Le Pen.

Engie also announced Tuesday that its advisers will be able to grant "installments of payment".


Communist candidate Fabien Roussel offers consumers a simulator allowing them to verify that by reducing VAT to 5.5% and removing other taxes, they would reduce their energy bill by 31.5%.

This great defender of the nuclear industry also asks for "a public energy service with EDF, with Engie", to take back "our sovereignty in terms of production and distribution of energy", he explained on BFMTV.

“We need immediate cyclical responses,” insisted PS MP Boris Vallaud, calling for tackling “the issue of rising wages and salaries”.

For his part, Bruno Le Maire denounced "an aberration of the single European energy market" when "the soaring gas price has repercussions on electricity prices" and indicated that he had written to the President of the Eurogroup to "fundamentally transform the European energy market".

"It is not normal that there is an alignment on the price of gas when our energy is largely derived from nuclear", insisted the deputy MoDem Bruno Millienne

"We have to work on reform, but it is important enough to go there calmly and discuss it all together," Carenco warned.

© 2021 AFP