Electricity, gasoline, diesel, food products, Internet and television subscriptions… In France, everything is cheaper, or almost. Why are the prices charged by our neighbors more attractive? Can we expect lower energy bills in the near future here? Focus.
On one side, a shopping cart at 500 euros. On the other, the same, but at 300 euros. The difference? The source. Our colleagues from the Last Hour recently highlighted the significant price differences on both sides of the Belgian-French border.
Energy, telecommunications, food: beyond Quiévrain, bargains are everywhere. The French government, the main and soon to be sole shareholder of EDF (Électricité De France), is forcing the company not to pass on the increase in production costs entirely to the consumer. Since September 1, a discount of 30 cents per liter of fuel has been introduced by the State, recalls Het Laatste Nieuws.
Fight against inflation
Companies like TotalEnergies and supermarket chains like Leclerc are also making an effort. Internet and television subscriptions have been cheaper for years, in particular thanks to the price break initiated by Free.
French supermarket chains have been major players in the fight against inflation since the 1980s. Negotiations with their suppliers are particularly thorough. French industry and agriculture, in particular, have paid and are paying a heavy price.
At home, can we expect a drop in energy prices and a sort of “return to normal”? “Nobody has a crystal ball. But it is very unlikely that we will find the exceptionally low prices of 2019 and the beginning of 2020,” says Johan Albrecht, professor of environmental economics at UGent, interviewed by HLN. “This does not mean that prices will return to a very acceptable level within two years, for example. The European Commission assures us that we can spend the winter without Russian gas, provided that gas consumption is reduced by 15%. The current figures suggest that this objective will be achieved”.
“In the Netherlands, gas demand fell by 25% in the first half of this year. If we take advantage of a mild winter, like the previous one, and reduce our consumption, this is likely to initiate a structural change at European level and impact the market. Result? Lower prices by late spring. Before June, we were at around 80 euros per MWh. A return to a level of 50 to 80 euros per MWh is really possible.”
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