French economy minister compares gas crisis to 1973 oil shock

French Minister of Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire said Wednesday Europe's energy crisis is "comparable" to the 1973 oil shock, and that it warrants exceptional mitigation measures.

"Every country in Europe is today facing an energy crisis that is the most serious in decades," Le Maire said in a telephone press briefing, adding: "The response and responsibility of the government is to act, to decide, and to use all the levers at its disposal to blunt that shock, because otherwise the social consequences for French consumers and economic consequences for businesses would be considerable."

The declaration was followed by an impassioned finance ministry defense of the government's decision this month to force state-controlled utility EDF to sell more nuclear electricity to competing power providers at a fixed low price.







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