Per Damien Grivois
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There was some controversy yesterday morning in the Economic, Social, Environmental and Cultural Council (Cesec), after speakers Tepuanui Snow and Eugène Sommers presented the draft opinion on the country’s bill on control conditions. of prices. of certain essential products and services and consumer products and services.
This text, presented again as a matter of urgency by the Fritch government – unfortunately for the councilors – was, however, the subject of committee work within the Cesec, the quality of which was unanimously welcomed by the company’s representatives. civil. On the other hand, the conclusion of the opinion was not unanimous, in its form much more than in its substance. Because Cesec’s opinion is not “qualified”, that is, it is neither a “favorable opinion” nor an “unfavorable opinion”. There is, however, a long list of harsh criticisms directed at the text presented by the government. Criticism has often come from Jean-François Benhamza, Sébastien Bouzard, Maxime Antoine-Michard and Christophe Plée.
Eugène Sommers and Tepuanui Snow defended the work of the committee and returned to the debate on how to draw up the conclusion of an opinion. Patrick Galenon explained that in the Economic, Social and Environmental Council (Cese), in France, the most used formula is “This is the opinion …”, without nuance, which does not prevent a list of observations.
One leader, Patrick Bagur, had initially thought of asking for an unfavorable opinion, but “at the last minute, he approved the opinion without reservation, thinking that it would be taken into account much better than an unfavorable opinion.” Finally, the unreserved opinion was adopted by 32 votes to 7, with two abstentions.
Cesec “kills” the text
In its conclusion, Cesec again criticizes the executive for the emergency procedure and “regrets once again the lack of communication of draft decrees adopted by the Council of Ministers that set out the list of products and services affected.”
Cesec “notes” that the Council of Ministers is given broad powers to control prices, “in particular to decide unilaterally and without consultation, on an extension of the products and services in question.” He points out that “the fact of intervening on the basis of simple risks (of price increases, ed.), Multiplies the number of possible actions, which contradicts the principle of price freedom.”
Regarding the services, the list of which is unknown, Cesec regrets “that the possible consequences for the employees of the affected companies are not taken into account. »
For Cesec, the price cap measure “should be examined and correlated with the margin framework, especially in the context of imported products”.
Unless the government revises its copy, Cesec says it is “not convinced that this device is an effective tool in the fight against inflation.” The institution advocates a comprehensive and in-depth review of the system. But without haste, in order to better anticipate the effects induced by the new regulations. The review “must learn from the past,” writes Cesec, which “strongly recommends consultation with all stakeholders.”
The principle itself is not called into question as the Council “considers that price control of basic necessities and services and mass consumption is a useful and even necessary tool for preserving the purchasing power of consumers, in particular of the remote islands.
HT2 with photo by Temeharo
Half of the recent reviews are favorable
René Temeharo, Minister of Major Works, Land Transport, in charge of relations with the institutions, spoke yesterday morning before the study of the draft opinion, in order to present the results to the members of Cesec, followed by the government, the opinions. delivered during the period 2019-2021.
During this period, no more than 83 opinions, 5 wishes and 2 internal referral reports have been issued, testifying to a global maintenance of its activity, and even a significant increase in 2021. Indeed, Cesec has been in high demand last year, since it issued 38 opinions, 2 wishes and issued 2 internal referral reports.
“This is an increase of + 80% compared to 2020. Of the 83 draft texts examined in three years, 78 opinions corresponded to mandatory references, relating to draft laws of the country of an economic and social nature, ie the 94% of projects submitted. to you. Five opinions issued by Cesec refer to referrals of an optional nature, ”said René Temeharo. “It is interesting to note that the proportion of favorable opinions was 53%, that of unfavorable opinions of 7% and that of unreserved opinions of 40%. On this subject, I would like to point out that although they are labeled as unqualified, this does not mean that the many recommendations and recommendations they contain are not taken into account, quite the contrary. »
The councilor wanted to remind and underline each of the councilors how important it is for them to make their institution’s voice heard in the public debate and “provide their indispensable assistance in defining and implementing public policies from the country”. . Overall, Cesec’s consultations and contributions to the development of public policies “have been valuable and taken into account, both in the areas of economy, employment, education, health, society and development.” , depending on the country. René Temeharo is committed to ensuring that Cesec always enters the best conditions in the coming years.
– Sébastien Bouzard: “I am surprised by the conclusion. (…) The Council of Ministers acted without consultation. In my opinion, the conclusion should have been negative. »
– Jean-François Benhamza: “The review is very poorly written. (…) The bill is an attack on freedom of enterprise, there is excessive interventionism. I will vote against. “
– “Eugène Smmers:“ Either it is an unfavorable opinion, or an opinion that incorporates criticism. Unfavorable, compared to public opinion, he risked being misunderstood. It was the election of the commission. »
– Christophe Plée: We are not here to do politics (taking care of public opinion, editor’s note), I do not understand the conclusion. (…) We cannot postulate a text that is not, it is the opinion that is not good, despite the quality of the report delivered. »
– Jean-Pierre Gaudfrin: “The decision was reduced to a few votes. Too bad there aren’t enough bosses coming to the committee. Don’t sign up for Cesec if you don’t have time to come. »
– Tepuanui Snow: “The commission asked questions to the Directorate-General for Economic Affairs, but they were left unanswered. »
– Stéphane Chin Loy: “We have decided not to give an opinion, it must be respected. There is no reason to shoot. »
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