Over 300 French companies urge gov’t action on energy price crisis

Over 300 French companies have alerted the country’s government to the negative effects of the surging energy prices, Minister Delegate for Industry Roland Lescure said here on Tuesday.

Lescure told French broadcaster Sud Radio that the risk of the companies going under remains limited, and that the government has no plans to extend the energy tariff shield to companies with more than 10 employees.

According to Lescure, these companies have long-term supply contracts that protect them from the increase in energy prices.

More than one out of two French industrial companies said they had suffered consequences from the energy crisis and that their production bottlenecks had affected profitability.

According to recent surveys, 80 percent of the country’s small and medium-sized enterprises fear for their survival.

Glassware manufacturer Duralex said that the company’s energy bill increased from 2 million euros ($2 million) the previous year to 13 million euros this year.

The energy price crunch has also led to employers resorting to short-time working in France. The Arc glass factory has put 1,600 of its workers on two days per week of partial activity until December.

At a press conference after a Council of Ministers meeting on Sept. 14, Economy and Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the energy tariff shield would concern all companies depending on the percentage of the turnover they use to cover their energy bills.



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