France offers motorists cash assistance to help pay for fuel

PARIS (AP) – French Prime Minister Jean Castex on Thursday announced that millions of low- and middle-income motorists will each receive 100 euros ($ 116) in one-time financial aid to help them cope with the rising prices of gasoline.

Castex declared on TF1 that it was “an exceptional response to an exceptional situation”.

The measure will affect around 36 million people who earn less than 2,000 euros ($ 2,325) per month, including employees, the self-employed, job seekers and retirees, Castex said. Assistance will begin to be provided in December.

The measure comes amid growing public discontent with a global energy crisis, as many households struggle to recover from the pandemic economic crisis.

The French government last month pledged 100 euros in cash assistance to around 6 million low-income households to help pay their energy bills.

Castex, which previously announced the government’s decision to freeze natural gas prices, said the move would last until the end of next year.

The issue in France is particularly sensitive after the anti-government movement of “yellow vests” which began in 2018 against an increase in fuel taxes – and was named after the fluorescent jackets that French motorists are required to wear. have in their cars. It quickly turned into a general protest against economic injustice, leading to weekly demonstrations, sometimes violent.

The government’s decision also comes ahead of the French presidential election scheduled for April, where President Emmanuel Macron is expected to stand for re-election.

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