France will maintain a cap on electricity prices until the end of the year in an effort to protect households, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Saturday.
The cap will be discontinued at the end of 2022, but electricity and gas prices will be “contained” next year, Le Maire said in the margins of a meeting in the eastern French city of Metz.
“French households will not be affected by this increase in electricity prices,” the economy minister pledged.
The government has limited the price increase at 4 percent, and this “will be maintained until the end of 2022,” he said.
Le Maire also said that energy vouchers will also be introduced to help the poorest households.
Le Maire warned that the energy-price surge cannot be absorbed forever by public finances. “It does not mean that we can block everything ad vitam aeternam,” he said.
Le Maire’s remarks come as electricity prices have hit all-time highs this week, driven in large part by Russia’s war on Ukraine. Prices in Germany and France have broken records, while British households are bracing for price increases of more than 80 percent.
Spiraling prices in Europe have prompted the Czech EU presidency to convene an extraordinary energy council to discuss emergency measures to address the situation.