Written by Erin Harding,
15th March 2022

It’s no secret that the cost of energy and fuel is rising everywhere at the moment, including in France. Thankfully, the French government is introducing measures to help drivers with the increase in prices.

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What measures are being introduced?

On Saturday, Prime Minister Jean Castex revealed that the government plan to implement a rebate of €0.15 per litre of petrol or diesel. This will be in place for four months from April 1 to cushion the impact of rising prices on consumers.

Although this rebate won’t be reflected in prices at the petrol stations, it will be applied at the time of payment. Castex said that these measures should save motorists €9 on a 60-litre fuel tank and the scheme is expected to cost the government €2 billion.

Why are fuel prices rising?

The COVID-19 pandemic, followed by the conflict between Russia and Ukraine have squeezed energy supplies, causing fuel prices to rise. Oil prices had been rising before the war in Ukraine and after news that Russia had invaded, they surged. Governments imposed sanctions on Russia, one of the biggest oil suppliers in the world. This then had an impact on worldwide fuel costs.

However, recent days have seen oil prices falling again. Milder weather also means that vehicles become more fuel-efficient. It is hoped, therefore, that fuel prices will begin to stabilise.

Ideal timing for Macron?

It is, perhaps, no coincidence that this gesture from the French government comes just weeks before the French Presidential election. Due to rising prices, Castex said the price of fuel had become “the primary concern of French people.”

Next week, Prime Minister Castex will reveal ‘a plan of economic and social resilience’ to help France deal with the impact of the conflict in Ukraine. This will be designed to help both businesses and individuals cope with rising prices.

What is the ‘plan of economic and social resilience’?

This plan is likely to include measures to tackle rising fuel and gas prices, help for French businesses directly impacted by the sanctions on Russia, support for the agricultural industry to minimise rising food prices and more.

Unlike measures to deal with the Covid pandemic, however, France’s Economy and Finance Ministry has made it clear that this is not a “whatever it takes” plan and it will “evolve” according to the needs of France. The plan is set to be unveiled sometime next week.

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