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Fuel price freeze on the way

The government has promised to honour election price pledges as prices at the pumps climb again

ACTION will be taken to stop vehicle fuel prices rising further, the government promises.

This comes as prices for both diesel and petrol have started climbing again; up about two centimes per litre in just a week, meaning President’s Hollande’s election promises of a temporary price cap are back on the agenda (they became irrelevant for a time because prices dropped after he made the pledge).

Diesel, which represents at least 80% of vehicle fuel consumption in France, has hit an average of €1.4246 per litre, up from €1.4060, official figures show. Unleaded 95 reached €1.6007 from €1.5740 and unleaded 98, €1.6539 from €1.6292. Both are at their highest rates since early May, though diesel and petrol are still lower than their respective record prices, reached in March and April.

“There is no question of prices continuing to go up,” said Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici on Europe 1. “We made a promise to block prices if they went above a certain level, which is that of April-May, now the question has arisen.”

“Appropriate measures” would be taken by August 28, he said, adding that he would make sure that prices then are not higher than today.
In the meantime he has commissioned a report into how prices are worked out by the refining and distribution sectors, saying this lacks transparency. “I’m told the margins are tiny, but I want to know what’s going on,” he said.

He added there were several possible ways to act, including making taxation on fuel variable (ie. so if the costs to the sector rise, tax goes down), putting in place price reductions for those on low incomes and “making a concerted effort with the distributors”.

Photo: © richard villalon -

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