The executive is walking on eggshells after a summer tormented by heat waves and soaring prices generated by the prolonged war in Ukraine.

At the first Council of Ministers back on Wednesday, the Head of State set the scene by adopting a somber tone that contrasted with the optimism he had cultivated since his arrival at the Elysee Palace in 2017.

Faced with the “series of serious crises” – from the conflict in Ukraine to climate change – he spoke of “the end of abundance” and “the end of recklessness” which will make necessary “efforts”, even ” sacrifice”. It is “the most serious crisis that France has known since the war”, added his ally of the Modem François Bayrou.

“Overheated cities, burning forests, dry rivers or torrential floods: the summer we are experiencing once again confronts us with the absolute, vital necessity of a transformation. The geopolitical context, and its repercussions on supplies and energy prices, redoubles the urgency,” summed up the head of state in the weekly Challenges.

“It is not a question of promising blood and tears, but it is important that everyone is aware of the gravity of the moment”, abounded Elisabeth Borne Saturday in the Parisian, for her first interview since the summer break.

– Fund vert –

To meet these challenges and at the same time reassure the French, the Prime Minister presented the first measures.

She thus announced the release of a “green fund” endowed with 1.5 billion euros intended for local authorities to “help them in accelerating their ecological transition”.

The head of government also promised that the executive would cushion “the increases” in energy prices after the end of the tariff shield in December, thanks to “specific provisions” for the “most fragile”. The Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire assured that the increase in electricity and gas in 2023 would be “contained”.

Before a speech expected before the Medef on Monday, Ms. Borne threatened companies with taxing their “super profits” while encouraging them to above all lower prices or give purchasing power to their employees, by using full, for example , the tripling of the tax-free bonuses (known as “Macron bonuses”) that they can pay to their employees.

The taxation of “super profits” is debated within the majority, the MoDem deputies pleading for a “reflection” in the fall.

On the need to regulate or not the use of private jets, Ms. Borne said without further details that their owners should “like everyone else, participate in the reduction of greenhouse gases”, judging “indispensable” that ” most favored” set the example.

– “Too shy” –

These files will also be on the menu of the back-to-school seminar which will bring together all the ministers at the Elysée on Wednesday.

On this subject as on others, while he does not have an absolute majority in the Assembly, Emmanuel Macron intends to build a form of consensus by launching on September 8 the National Council for Refoundation, an already controversial body which must bring together elected officials, actors in the field, civil society.

But the opposition, who made their comeback this weekend, doubt its ability to meet these challenges while its environmental record is considered very insufficient.

“Everything he offers is too timid”, denounces the ecologist Julien Bayou.

The president’s strategy is to “scare, so everyone keeps quiet”, according to the rebel Jean-Luc Mélenchon.

For its part, the right is alarmed by the worsening state of public finances while the National Rally gives priority to the defense of purchasing power.

In this context, Elisabeth Borne did not rule out recourse to article 49-3 of the Constitution, which allows the adoption of a text without a vote, for the budget in the fall, because “the French do not did not ask for immobility”.