The first president of the Court of Auditors Pierre Moscovici launched a new alert on Friday on France’s debt, worsened according to him by the support measures for households and businesses during the recent energy crisis. “We are up against the wall,” worried the former Minister of Finance, during a press conference devoted to the exceptional measures put in place by the government to protect consumers from soaring energy prices. following the Russian offensive against Ukraine in 2022.

Price shield on electricity and gas, rebate on fuels, exceptional checks: “We have made the very widespread whatever it costs, without targeting, we have done more than our neighbors and therefore we arrive at a situation where we can no longer go into debt,” insisted Pierre Moscovici, three days after a first warning shot in the annual public report of the Court of Auditors. “Exceptional expenses are piling up in the energy sector (…) If solutions exist to make public energy policy more efficient, then they must be seized. We must take control of our public finances,” pleaded the first president.

Unlike the Covid pandemic, during which the Court found the billions of euros of state spending justified, energy inflation “is not an existential phenomenon that we have never encountered,” he said. -he adds. The “whatever it costs” decided by the government during the energy crisis “could be thought through more than others”, he judged. “As much as we have completely validated (public support during) Covid, we allow ourselves some reflections on the energy crisis and inflation,” concluded Pierre Moscovici.

Since the rise in interest rates and at a time when the French debt exceeds 111% of gross domestic product (GDP), the Minister of the Economy and Finance Bruno Le Maire has announced on numerous occasions the end of “whatever it costs”. More than 10 billion euros of energy expenditure have thus been eliminated by the government between 2023 and 2024, the shield on gas prices disappeared in the summer of 2023 and that on electricity prices must disappear from now on. here at the end of the year. In a report published on Friday, the Court of Auditors puts the net bill for consumer support measures deployed by the State at 36 billion euros between 2021 and 2024.