The expected speech of Elisabeth Borne in front of the Medef
The Meeting of Entrepreneurs of France (REF) of the Medef opens this Monday with a long-awaited speech by Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne which should call on companies to energy sobriety. If the Prime Minister declared in an interview with the Parisian published on Sunday that we are not “going to control the French at home” concerning the energy savings requested, she adds that “concerning companies there will be common sense constraints”.
Two decrees are being examined by the Council of State on the extinction of illuminated advertisements at night and the closing of doors for air-conditioned businesses.
In front of employers, Ms. Borne must call on companies and individuals to “general mobilization” in terms of energy sobriety. A first assessment of the actions taken by companies to reduce energy consumption could be made at the end of September or in October, according to Matignon.
More restrictive measures could be triggered if the sobriety target of 10% energy savings is not achieved and Russia completely cuts gas supplies, the same source added. “Companies obviously have a role to play”, assures the president of Medef, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux in an interview with the Figaro published on Monday. “The sobriety plan on which we are discussing mainly concerns two subjects: the temperature in the offices (…) and daily mobility, by pushing alternative transport solutions to the individual car”, he explains. “We will also have to rethink our production model more generally to make it more sober”, warns the president of Medef.
In her interview on Sunday, Elisabeth Borne also said that she “does not close the door” to the idea of taxing the “super profits” of companies but encourages them above all to lower prices or to give power to purchase from their employees by making full use, for example, of tripling the tax-free bonuses (known as “Macron bonuses”) that they can pay to their employees.
“I will be careful that they do so,” she assured. “In the current period everyone must be responsible”, she adds warning that she “intends to remind the Medef” this Monday.
Read alsoSobriety: small gestures to help get through the winter but insufficient in the face of the energy crisis
Full employment and environmental planning
Ms. Borne also announced the release of a “green fund” endowed with 1.5 billion euros intended for local authorities to “help them in accelerating their ecological transition” and promised that the executive would amortize ” increases” in energy prices after the end of the tariff shield in December, thanks to “specific provisions” for the “most fragile”. Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Saturday that the rise in electricity and gas in 2023 would be “contained”. Accustomed to the event, his speech before the Medef is scheduled for Tuesday.
In front of the Medef, Elisabeth Borne should also address ecological planning, including the development of carbon-free energies. The issue of full employment should also be addressed in the Prime Minister’s speech eagerly awaited by employers. Employment prospects remain good and “we will undoubtedly have a very good tourist season”, noted Friday with AFP Alain Di Crescenzo, president of CCI France and member of the executive committee of Medef.
“Is inflation going to bury the objective of full employment?”, will be the theme of a debate in the presence of the Minister of Labor Olivier Dussopt and the general secretary of the Force Ouvrière union Frédéric Souillot.
The Meeting of French Entrepreneurs begins at noon with a live videoconference from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, whose country was invaded by Russia at the end of February.
The REF, which recorded more than 8,000 entries last year in Paris, intends to break attendance records this year over its two days of debates at the Parisian Longchamp racecourse, provides Patrick Martin, deputy president of Medef.
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