Finance ministers from the G7 group of industrialised nations will call on world oil producers to raise output “to reduce prices”, France’s Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici has said.

“I’ve just reached agreement that my G7 colleagues ...sign a statement calling for the rise in production by oil producing countries to reduce petrol prices,” the Minister told broadcaster TF1 television.

Under acute political pressure in France to reduce petrol prices at the pump, Moscovici had earlier yesterday announced that the Government would spend $375 million to temporarily cut pump prices for motorists.

In the scheme, pump prices will drop up to six cents, three for fuel companies and three for the state, he said following a meeting with fuel companies.

In addition to the statement by the G7, which seems directed to the OPEC cartel of producing nations, Moscovici said “mechanisms” would be created to “provide relief for those for whom petrol prices are an important part of their budget’’.

Keeping a lid on pump prices which have soared to record levels was a prominent pledge of Francois Hollande’s presidential campaign that swept the Socialists to power earlier this year.

But with the French economy stagnating over the past nine months, the Government is struggling to cut the public deficit to 4.5 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) this year and to the EU limit of 3.0 per cent next year.

(This article was published on August 29, 2012)
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