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'Who is picking up your tab?' Marine Le Pen slams Macron over energy cap

World'Who is picking up your tab?' Marine Le Pen slams Macron over energy cap

Emmanuel Macron’s government has earmarked more than 15.5 billion euros ($17.6 billion) to cap the jump in electricity and natural gas costs. EDF, which is 80 percent owned by the French government, said the move would cost the company up to 8.4 billion euros ($9.64 billion) and dropped its 2022 earnings guidance. In the second round of debate, Marine Le Pen said: “This blocking measure, I’m not opposed to it but I want things to be sustainable.

“I want to exit the EU electricity market which means a spectacular increase in prices.”

Macron interjected: “That means reforming not exiting it.

“You voted against this, you voted against the capping.”

Ms Le Pen hit back: “In actual fact Mr Macron who is picking up the tab for your famous cap? It’s the taxpayers so it’s either one or the other.

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“You’re saying that your cap is more effective than my VAT reduction? No, I want to go back to regulated prices.

“That is something you don’t want to do as we all know.”

President Emmanuel Macron’s government is facing mounting public pressure over the rising cost of living.

By promising to cap power price increases at 4 percent this year, it left EDF investors to feel the pain rather than households.

French forward curve power prices rose in early trading after news of the extended reactor outage but remained well below highs reached in mid-December.

Friday’s move came after weeks of deliberation inside the French government over how to stick to a pledge that household electricity bills would not rise by more than 4% this year.

Macron has been wary of the impact Europe’s energy crisis is having on living costs ahead of April’s election.

A 2018 fuel tax increase unleashed months of violent street protests that morphed into a broader anti-government revolt.

Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told Le Parisien newspaper that power prices would have jumped by more than 35 percent without the new price cap.

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