Emmanuel Macron Reverses Course on Fuel Pricing Strategy Amid Backlash

Confronted with strong opposition from concerned parties, Emmanuel Macron has reversed a project initially proposed by the Prime Minister, which aimed to permit fuel distributors to sell at a loss. Instead, he is now urging them to adopt a “cost price” approach, ensuring that no one profits from fuel sales in order to bring down pump prices. This shift in approach was announced during Macron’s live interview on TF1 and France 2’s 8 p.m. news on Sunday. However, this new directive is raising concerns among independent service stations.

Francis Pousse, the President of the service stations and new energies branch at the Mobilians union, has declared on BFMTV that adhering to a cost price for small service stations would essentially mean selling fuel at a loss. He explained that the current definition of cost price only includes the purchase price and transportation costs, without factoring in additional expenses such as credit card fees, cashier salaries, depreciation, and more.

Pousse is concerned that implementing cost-price operations extensively will further widen the gap between independent service stations and large-scale distributors, and he is calling for the establishment of a “compensation fund” to support independent service stations in the face of competitive challenges.

In response to the opposition from fuel distributors, some major retail players have already announced plans to offer cost-price operations to their customers in the coming weeks. For example, TotalEnergies has committed to keeping fuel prices below 1.99 euros per liter until the end of the year. President Macron has also requested transparency from other distributors and intends to convene all stakeholders in the fuel sector later this week.

In addition to these measures, Emmanuel Macron has introduced a new initiative to address rising fuel prices. This initiative will provide aid specifically targeted at workers and individuals with low incomes, potentially amounting to 100 euros per car per year, similar to the aid provided in the spring.

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