France to keep curbing hikes in households' energy costs

·1-min read
FILE PHOTO: Electricity transmission towers in France

PARIS (Reuters) -The French government plans to continue to work to curtail the effect of rising energy prices on households next year, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said in remarks published on Saturday.

"We will maintain measures to soften the rise in energy prices and we will take specific measures to assist the most vulnerable," Borne said in an interview with the French daily Le Parisien.

"French people can be reassured, we won't allow energy prices to skyrocket," added Borne.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire earlier on Saturday told French television channel BFM that increases in electricity prices next year would be limited.

French President Emmanuel Macron said earlier this week that there were "tough months ahead" while his government warned of energy price rises as the war in Ukraine grinds on.

In the coming weeks the French government will have to decide whether to renew price caps on electricity and gas that expire at the end of the year, and whether to maintain a fuel rebate. These two measures have helped keep French inflation lower than many European peers but weigh heavily on public finances.

A government spokesman said last week that France could not hold on to energy price caps to help households forever.

France has committed to capping an increase in regulated electricity costs at 4% until the end of the year.

(Reporting by Mimosa Spencer; Editing by Christina Fincher, William Maclean)