This is not about giving in to pessimism in this new school year. While France, however, registers a rise in prices that it has not seen for more than thirty years, – 6.1% inflation in one year, in July – Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of the Economy, promises ” to relieve the wallet of the French ». And be by her side.
France at its peak of inflation
In a back to school newspaper interview southwest, the Minister of the Economy praises all the measures taken to help the French. First and foremost is the fuel discount. From 18 euro cents per liter, it will drop from next week, September 1, to 30 euro cents per liter.
A significant increase, voted this summer by parliamentarians as part of the Purchasing Power Law, which should prevent France, according to INSEE forecasts, from exceeding 7% inflation this fall. This allows the Bercy tenant to ensure that France is currently experiencing ” your peak inflation ».
But as the war in Ukraine stalls and China’s economic situation deteriorates, is recession certain? not so sure. But Bruno Le Maire is optimistic. For him, France is doing what is necessary to prevent prices from skyrocketing.
Thus, in his interview, the Minister recalls the device adopted, a few months ago, to block the price of gas, electricity, or even to revalue retirement pensions.
Finally, his intention to pressure companies to participate in the effort remains intact. Very soon, he promises to unite the banking and insurance sector, to ask them not to increase costs and premiums. These groups are invited to make a gesture towards consumers.
a supportive government
Every year, around this time, the fear of facing a tense social re-entry resurfaces in the executive. Still, 2022 is special, with this context of rising cost of living.
Last week, on the occasion of the 78th anniversary of the Liberation in Bornes-les-Mimosas, Emmanuel Macron was more serious than his Economy Minister when asking the French ” agree to pay the price of our freedom and our values ».
And for good reason, tensions over energy prices remain high. Energy sovereignty will also be one of the priority issues of the Council of Ministers to be held on Wednesday.
However, to avoid fueling disputes, Emmanuel Macron promises a change of method. Proof of this is that on September 8 he will meet a National Refoundation Council (CNR), with associations, political parties and social partners. The device is still vague and arouses the skepticism of the unions, but it aims to create dialogue and consultation. According to François Hommeril, head of the CFE-CGC, the union of executives, ” he will go even if he doesn’t expect much from this date ».
At the moment, in France there is no increase in conflict in companies, but the authorities are attentive. the trauma of ” yellow vests » is still present.
The UK case on everyone’s mind
If the French government is so vigilant it is also because the situation on the other side of the Channel may sound like a warning. The UK has seen a new round of major strikes in key sectors of the economy since last Thursday. Ports, transport, post office, justice,… Strikes follow one another threatening a blockade of the island. The slogan of this social protest is the same everywhere: the purchasing power of the British while inflation exceeds 10%. Workers demand wage increases. And all the more so since, according to the Bank of England, inflation should rise even more to exceed 13% in the autumn.
With the government package, France should remain relatively protected. It is one of the countries where inflation is lowest. For example, the increase in prices in Estonia exceeds 23% and the average for the euro zone, according to Eurostat, is around 10%.
But, if the Executive has chosen to compensate for the rise in prices to preserve the consumer, it is by delving into the debt. And there are risks that, in the future, it will be the taxpayers, and future generations, who will foot the bill. Also, does this ” package » of measures will be enough to avoid a social protest this fall? Today no one has the answer.
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