Saying he was "sawn" by the announcement of Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, last weekend, to authorize fuel distributors to sell at a loss, Michel-Edouard Leclerc has not hidden his discontent for a week. In an interview with the JDD this Sunday, September 24, he even assured to have called the head of government to tell her that "this decision was an aberration", and urged the State to act. But how?
According to him, the government "has two ways of intervening": either by "lowering taxes", which represent about half of the price of a liter of fuel at the pump, or by "blocking the price of exit from the refinery" which he describes as "determining in the resale price". "If we want retail pump attendants not to exceed a resale price higher than 2 euros, the effort must be made by the oil companies," he explains, adding that it would simply be enough "to impose it on refining operators".
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Rising prices, a precursor to revolts?
A solution found by the one who ensures that fuel distributors have absolutely "no capacity" to sell at a loss. "It is written everywhere that fuel is a product of appeal. But for many, at Leclerc as at Intermarché, fuel represents 20 to 25% of turnover, "says Charles-Edouard Leclerc, judging "inconceivable" to sell at a loss "for the balance of accounts". Before affirming: "Selling at cost price is already a big sacrifice".
For the businessman, national cohesion is at stake. "Should we remember that the movement of the "yellow vests" and, in Brittany, that of the Red Hats, started on a price of fuel deemed exaggerated by the carriers?" he asks. Referring to what is a "haunting" in his eyes, he argues that in historical facts, "rising prices have always been a precursor to popular revolts". "I also have this reminiscence of Raymond Barre's economics classes who reminded us that inflation always precedes recession," he concludes.