VThe French are largely spared the explosion in energy prices. prime minister Elizabeth Borne has announced that the price cap for electricity and gas will be extended beyond the turn of the year. For those households that have signed a state-regulated collective agreement, the price increase will be a maximum of 15 percent from January 2023.
Without a cap, the heating costs for a household would climb by 200 euros a month. With the lid it should only be 25 euros, the 61-year-old head of government calculated. She emphasized that other Europeans suffered much more from the price explosion. "It's already the reality of tens of millions of households in the UK, Italy and Germany," Borne said. "France is the country in Europe that has best protected its citizens," she said.
As in the previous year, almost 40 percent of low-income households are to receive an energy check at the end of the year. The amount is 100 or 200 euros depending on income. France has a lower 6.6 percent in August inflation rate listed as Germany. This is mainly due to the fact that the government decided last autumn to curb rising energy prices.
High tank discounts in France
The price differences meanwhile lead to intensive shopping tourism in the border area. Reports on French television these days show Germans with full shopping trolleys in French supermarkets in Alsace and Lorraine.
Tank tourism is also very common. France has increased the fuel discount to 30 cents per liter as of September 1st. Private providers such as Total Energies have added a 20 cent discount per liter. As a result, long queues of German drivers regularly form at French petrol stations near Saarbrücken, for example. "During the day, many gas stations have to close because they don't have enough reserves and are waiting for supplies," says Christophe Arend, the long-time co-chair of the Franco-German parliamentary assembly from Forbach.
His own shopping behavior has also changed. "I used to go to Germany to do some shopping, now I shop in France," says Arend, who will head the Saarland agency in France from now on. He initiated a Franco-German exchange on how national price brakes and discounts affect the joint Franco-German border area.