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France

French govt to intervene as fuel prices rise again

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-08-14

Diesel fuel and petrol prices are rising again, and the French government has said it will honour campaign promises to put a temporary cap on the cost of fuel at the pumps.

The French government has promised to intervene to stop the rising wholesale cost of petrol and diesel from affecting drivers filling their cars at the pumps.

Price rises of around 2 cents a litre in the last week have worried motorists, after the cost of fuel dipped after a peak at the beginning of April.

Diesel, by far the most popular fuel used by French motorists, now costs an average 1.42 euros per litre according to government figures released this week. Petrol is selling for an average 1.60 euros.

Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici told Europe 1 radio on Tuesday that there was “no question” of further price rises at the pump and that the government was studying ways to offset the cost.

Promising an announcement by the end of August, Moscovici said fuel prices could be kept lower by either a direct enforcement (which would mean lowering fuel taxes), subsidies for those most in need, or by tightening regulation on suppliers.

“There is a distinct lack of transparency on the supply side, from refineries to distribution,” he added.

During his (ultimately successful) election campaign, Socialist President François Hollande promised that he would place a temporary cap on fuel prices during price peaks and that the government would work out a “floating tax” system for petrol and diesel.

But this promise fell off Hollande’s agenda as prices had peaked before his election in June.

The recent spike in fuel price is due to an increase in the cost of crude and a weakening of the euro against the US dollar, the currency that oil is traded in.

Date created : 2012-08-14

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