PARIS—France will cut gasoline taxes to ease the pressure of rising prices on French households, as the prime minister attempts to quell rising concerns about the country’s sluggish economy.
Gasoline currently costs more than C$1.70-per-litre in Paris (about US$8 a gallon).
Jean-Marc Ayrault sought to rebuild public confidence as Paris—like many other European capitals—faces the challenge of reinvigorating the economy despite tight state finances.
France’s economic picture has worsened over the summer after several leading French companies announced layoffs and economists warn the government’s growth forecasts are too rosy.
France is the second-largest economy among the 17 countries that use the euro, with a gross domestic product of $2.24 trillion. However its economy has not grown in the past six months and it has a 10 per cent unemployment rate.
The government recently approved a largely symbolic reduction in the salaries of both the president and prime minister by 30 per cent—an emblem of their message of social justice, that austerity isn’t just about squeezing ordinary workers.
Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said details of the gasoline tax cut would come next week, after he receives a government report on the matter and holds talks with consumer and industry groups.