The government has obtained progress from fuel distributors. After the failure of her project to authorize the sale of fuel at a loss, Elisabeth Borne brought together major retail players in Matignon on Tuesday September 26 to invite them to lower prices.

Results, according to Matignon: “nearly 120,000 operations” of fuel sales at cost price will take place “in 4,000 stations” until the end of the year.

The Carrefour and E.Leclerc brands are committed to carrying out such operations every day; Casino, Cora and Intermarché will carry out two weekends per month; Système U and Auchan, at least one weekend per month, detailed Matignon. These commitments are in addition to the freezing by TotalEnergies of the price at 1.99 euros per liter in its 3,400 stations. The Prime Minister will bring together the players in the sector again in December.

In the afternoon, during the government questions session at the National Assembly, Ms. Borne specified that she expected from distributors “an exceptional mobilization commensurate with the challenge.” She warned that she would send “simple messages: lower prices, make more transparency on margins, and help the French find the best prices near them”.

Previously, the Prime Minister had threatened, in front of the majority in the Assembly, to “legislate” on the matter, without giving further details.

A “fairly marginal” impact

“From September 29, the 750 service stations of E.Leclerc hypermarkets will sell gasoline daily at “cost price”,” Michel-Edouard Leclerc had anticipated on X (formerly Twitter), announcing before the sales meeting “without profit “.

Carrefour then made a similar announcement for all its supermarkets: “We are committed to selling fuel without margin, every day, from this Friday until the end of the year. »

The impact of selling at cost price, however, risks being “fairly marginal”, because it is already practiced by the brands, and large-scale distribution sells fuels with margins of “a few cents”, far from canceling the increase in recent months, recalls Patrice Geoffron, professor at Paris-Dauphine University and director of the energy-climate team at Agence France-Presse.

The meeting held in Matignon, the day after an ecological planning council, once again illustrates the executive’s difficulty in reconciling the reduction of polluting emissions and the preservation of purchasing power weighed down by the soaring price of fossil fuels. On purchasing power, “ecology is the answer,” replied Emmanuel Macron on Sunday. While affirming: “The car, (…) I love it. »