“We continue to believe with the President of the Republic that it is in the interest of all European countries to bring down energy prices on the market. When prices run high, States must intervene. prices are reaching peaks, the States must intervene”, explained Bruno le Maire, before an interview with his German counterparts Robert Habeck (Economy and climate protection) and Christian Lindner (Finance).

At the end of the meeting, the French minister reiterated the “need to support both households and private companies in this fight against inflation” by using “all possible means”.

Christian Lindner joined him, adding, however, that it was not necessary to “further fuel inflation by strengthening demand” or “counter the measures of central banks”, which are increasing their rates to limit the rise in prices.

To bring down energy prices, the European Commission presented proposals on Tuesday aimed at reforming the flagship index of the gas market, avoiding extreme prices and defining a compulsory level of joint purchases, but without capping the price of gas used to produce electricity, like what has been implemented in Spain and Portugal.

France has been trying for weeks “to obtain an agreement on lower electricity prices at European level, in particular by extending the Iberian mechanism to the entire European continent. We will continue to fight in this direction, as we We will continue to fight for the disjunction of the price of gas and the price of electricity,” the French minister told AFP. Germany is reluctant to do so.

If the European Commission does nothing about energy prices, “it’s a form of economic suicide for Europe”, warned at the microphone of BFM Business Jacques Creyssel, general delegate of the Federation of Commerce and Distribution.

“We will have to increase prices massively to hold on, but at the same time if we do so, there will be a deterioration in the volumes sold”, he added, warning against a collapse of the system which would not leave the choice as to “a new one no matter what”.

Bruno Le Maire said he wanted to “maintain the safety net that already exists for the smallest companies. 1.5 million VSEs are at regulated sales prices (TRV). We will maintain this price”.

For the other energy-intensive companies, “we will present solutions in the coming days, and we are working on them in particular with the CPME”, further indicated Bruno Le Maire.