Station owners in rural parts of France are saying the new measure, announced by the economics minister this week, is bad for businesses that have already been in decline for years.
They simply can’t afford to drop their prices, they claim.
The number of stations in the countryside has decreased by two thirds in the last 30 years - a result of petrol services in supermarkets and hypermarkets becoming more popular.
But a spokesperson for the national federation for the automobile industry, Emile Repusseau, underlined that people living in the countryside are precisely the ones who need the three-cent reduction the most.
“Their situation is becoming critical,” she told newspaper Le Parisien.
But, she noted:
“A lot of these initiatives have zero profitability [for petrol stations]. As a result, it is impossible to ask them to put in place extra efforts.”