“When prices soar, states must intervene,” says Le Maire

States must intervene to regulate energy prices when the markets prove unable to do so, on Wednesday in an interview with AFP the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire. “We continue to believe with the President of the Republic that it is in the interest of all European countries to bring down the prices of energy on the market. When the prices are carried away, the States must intervene. The price has reached peaks, the States must intervene”, explained Bruno le Maire, before an interview with his German counterparts Robert Habeck (Economy and climate protection) and Christian Lindner (Finance).

At the end of the meeting, the French minister reiterated the “need to support both households and private companies in this fight against inflation” by using “all possible means”. Christian Lindner joined him, adding, however, that it was not necessary to “further fuel inflation by strengthening demand” or “counter the measures of central banks”, which are increasing their rates to limit the rise in prices.

Reform the flagship index of the gas market

To bring down energy prices, the European Commission presented proposals on Tuesday aimed at reforming the flagship index of the gas market, avoiding extreme prices and defining a compulsory level of joint purchases, but without capping the price of gas used to generate electricity, at the stage of which has been implemented in Spain and Portugal.

France has been trying for weeks “to obtain an agreement on lower electricity prices at European level, in particular by extending the Iberian mechanism to the entire European continent. We will continue to fight in this direction, as we We will continue to fight for the disjunction of the price of gas and the price of electricity,” the French minister told AFP. Germany is reluctant to do so.

Warning against system collapse

If the European Commission does nothing on energy prices, “it’s a form of economic suicide for Europe”, warned at the microphone of BFM Business Jacques Creyssel, general delegate of the Federation of Commerce and Distribution. “We will have to increase prices massively to hold on, but at the same time if we do so, there will be a deterioration in the volumes sold,” he added, adding a warning against a collapse of the system which would leave no choice as to to “a new one whatever the cost”.

Bruno Le Maire said he wanted to “maintain the safety net that already exists for the smallest companies. 1.5 million VSEs are at regulated sales prices (TRV). We are maintaining this price”. For the other energy-intensive companies, “we are presenting solutions in the coming days, and we are working on them in particular with the CPME”, further indicated Bruno Le Maire.


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