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Bruno Le Maire asks TotalEnergies to extend its fuel price cap “beyond December 31”

In the midst of a rise in oil prices, the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire asked the giant TotalEnergies on Thursday to extend its price cap at the pump “beyond December 31”. “I would like TotalEnergies, which has made a commitment to cap the prices of all fuels, diesel and petrol, at 1.99 euros until the end of the year, to extend this cap (…) beyond of December 31, 2023”, suggested the minister on franceinfo.

A new government rebate discarded

“TotalEnergies is the only major French oil company that we have left, it must be an asset for all motorists”, insisted Bruno Le Maire, before expressing his “confidence” in the fact that the boss of the energy company Patrick Pouyanné ” take into consideration the difficulties of our compatriots”.

On the other hand, the government rules out any new generalized rebate on fuel prices, after having already resorted to this solution in 2022. Bruno Le Maire said on franceinfo to see in this measure a “triple aberration: ecological, budgetary and diplomatic”. “Two countries, Saudi Arabia and Russia, have decided to reduce their production, which obviously has an impact on the price” by restricting the world supply, acknowledged the minister.

A new government rebate would “pay for the oil diplomacy of Putin and Saudi Arabia”

Under these conditions, a new government rebate would amount, according to him, to “paying for the oil diplomacy of Mr. (Vladimir) Putin and Saudi Arabia”.

The minister refused to embark on “apothecary accounts” with the president (LR) of the Hauts-de-France region Xavier Bertrand, who asked for a rebate of 15 to 20 centimes “for all” on the liter of gasoline and accused the government of exaggeratedly inflating the cost of such a measure. “If we make a discount of 20 cents on fuel prices for a year, I confirm, it costs 12 billion euros”, replied Bruno Le Maire on Thursday.