Carburants : la possibilité de vente à perte sera effective à partir de « début décembre » ; des « mesures de compensation » pour les stations-service indépendantes

er décembre », a-t-il précisé. Cette mesure vise à soutenir les automobilistes français face à la hausse des prix du“I cannot reword”

Sa précision arrive après l’annonce d’une telle possibilité samedi par la première ministre, dans un entretien au Parisien. Alors que la vente à perte est interdite par la loi depuis 1963, le gouvernement souhaite l’autoriser temporairement afin d’aider les Français à faire face à l’inflation qui perdure et se traduit par des prix du carburant qui remontent dans les stations-service.

“I cannot reword”me Borne, assurant qu’ainsi « chacun prend sa part ». « Il est normal de mettre à contribution les gros industriels », a-t-elle affirmé, tout en rappelant que « la responsabilité de l’Etat, c’est aussi de baisser son déficit et sa dette ». « Notre méthode, c’est d’engager tout le monde, l’ensemble des acteurs économiques, dans cette lutte contre l’inflation », a précisé Bruno Le Maire lundi, car « l’Etat ne peut pas porter à lui seul le coût de l’inflation, sinon ça va creuser les déficits ».

A presentation of the device will take place at the end of September.

The professional union Mobilians, representing 5,800 non-supermarket gas stations, announced that following an emergency meeting, the Ministry of Economy, the Ministry of Energy Transition, and the Ministry of Small and Medium Enterprises, Trade, and Crafts have committed to implementing a “support plan for traditional gas stations” which includes “compensation measures.” Mobilians expressed their satisfaction with their responsiveness in a statement.

Shortly before, Francis Pousse, president of the service station and new energy branch of Mobilians, expressed his outrage to Agence France-Presse: “My members rely on fuel sales for 40, 50%, or even more of their income, so if they sell at a loss, I give them three months [to close down].” He also expressed skepticism about the beneficial effect of this measure on the purchasing power of the French people, considering the rising food prices that he believes have a greater impact on their wallets.

The device will be presented in the council of ministers on September 27th, as stated by the spokesperson for the government, Olivier Véran. It will be part of the legislation on commercial renegotiations between suppliers and industrial distributors. The implementation deadline for the device, set by Bruno Le Maire on Monday, is due to the time it takes for the text to be adopted by the National Assembly and the Senate. For individuals, such a commercial operation could result in savings of “half a euro” per liter, estimated Mr. Véran when questioned on RTL on Sunday.

The price of unleaded gasoline 95 has increased by 8% over the course of two months.

The government keeps emphasizing the external factors behind this increase that is hurting the wallets of the French. As of Friday, September 8th, the average price for a liter of unleaded 95 was 1.96 euros, up 8% in two months; and diesel was at 1.88 euros (+13%). To prevent the fuel price from reaching 2 euros again, many distributors have been selling fuel at cost price in recent months. Most of them committed last week to continue these operations until the end of the year when they were summoned by the Minister of Energy Transition, Agnès Pannier-Runacher.

If he excluded a general discount at the pump, as he did in 2022, the government has been multiplying announcements and calls for “solidarity” from distributors and suppliers for weeks, in order to extend this type of operation. Last week, TotalEnergies, which manages a third of the nearly 11,000 service stations in France, responded by announcing the extension of the price cap for gasoline at 1.99 euros per liter in its stations, beyond the end of 2023.

Critiques des oppositions

The government’s announced measure has also not received unanimous support from political opposition. The National Rally is opposed to the measure, according to Sébastien Chenu, the vice-president of the group in the Assembly, who was interviewed on Public Sénat on Monday morning. “This measure will result in two things: big corporations will profit greatly and independent gas stations will close,” he said, calling it “empty talk.” He added that “the problem lies in the profit margins of big corporations and the taxes [on fuel].” “We want a decrease in taxes,” he reiterated.

M. Bompard expressed his dissatisfaction with this measure, stating that it is a “joke”. He believes that it benefits distributors more than households. Instead, he advocated for a price freeze at around 1.50 euros per liter. According to Eric Coquerel, the “insurgent” deputy and president of the finance committee, this measure will cause “disruption that benefits large retailers”. Marylise Léon, the general secretary of CFDT, responded on Monday that selling at a loss “may address a short-term issue… One of the drawbacks is that there is no targeting” of households.

If the measure is approved by Parliament, the question will be to determine the number of gas stations that will use it, and to what extent the gap will widen between independent stations and large retailers. The latter have more means to lower costs. Moreover, they use gasoline as a promotional product to attract customers.

Le Monde avec AFP