PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday the government would ask the fuel industry to sell at cost price and would grant 100 euros ($106.52) in aid to the poorest workers who drive to work, to stem the impact of inflation on households.
“The Prime Minister will bring together all the players in the sector this week and we will ask them to sell at cost price, that is to say that no one makes a margin,” Mr. Macron said in an interview with France’s TF1 and France 2 television stations.
“There is something we can work on, is to avoid that there are abusive margins done on refining,” he said.
Mr. Macron‘s government had initially planned to encourage retailers to sell fuel below cost by temporarily lifting a ban on doing so, which the industry strongly rejected as being unaffordable.
On food prices Macron said the government wanted an “agreement to moderate margins”, accusing large groups of having maintained high prices despite a decline in inflation.
“Price freezing doesn’t work,” he said. We must “put everyone around the table, and find an agreement on the margins”, he said, adding that a proposal would be put forward next week.
Michel-Edouard Leclerc, the head of hypermarket giant E.Leclerc, said in an interview in weekly JDD on Sunday that fuel accounts for about 20% to 25% of the sales of some retailers, making it “inconceivable for the balance of our accounts to sell at a loss.” – Reuters