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Fuels: a rebate would be “not responsible”, according to Le Maire

The Minister of Economy and Finance on Sunday ruled out the possibility of state aid for motorists in the face of rising prices.

JB with AFP

Fuel prices started to rise again this summer (illustration).
© THIBAUT DURAND / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP

Urebate on the price of fuel would be “not responsible”, given the cost it would represent, and “not consistent” with the government’s budgetary commitments, said Sunday the Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire . He was reacting to a proposal made on Friday by the president of the Hauts-de-France region Xavier Bertrand (LR), who demanded a discount “for all” of 15 to 20 cents on the price of a liter of gasoline, which is started to rise again in the heart of summer.

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This proposal “costs 12 billion euros”, affirmed Bruno Le Maire on the antenna of BFMTV, estimating that it would be “not consistent with budgetary commitments and the release of whatever it costs”. “I don’t think it’s a responsible decision, especially at a time when we continue to pay part of the French electricity bill,” he added, referring to the tariff shield still in force. force, from which the country must gradually emerge by the end of 2024. The latter “will cost more than 30 billion euros in 2023”, underlined the minister.

Prices are going up again

In the fall of 2022, the government introduced a general rebate of 30 then 10 cents, which it ended on December 31. “At a time when inflation was the hardest and most penalizing for our compatriots, we made this choice”, whose “cost was extremely high”, recalled Bruno Le Maire. The government had valued the measure at 8 billion euros. “The fight against global warming and the greening of our taxation and the end of whatever the cost means that I am not in favor of us giving a discount on our fuels”, concluded the Minister.

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After falling in the spring, fuel prices started to rise again during the summer: according to the latest statement dated August 25 from the Ministry of Energy Transition, diesel prices were on average 1.8240 euros per liter , those of the super SP95-E10 at 1.9171 euro, while those of the super SP98 flirted with the symbolic threshold of two euros at 1.9844 euro. A threshold crossed in many service stations according to the comparator of the government site, but below which remain the TotalEnergies petrol pumps, whose prices are capped at 1.99 euros until the end of the year, which weights the national average.

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