The French government intends to nationalize electricity giant EDF in an energy crisis following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said Wednesday.
The French state now holds an 84% stake in the company, one of the largest electricity producers in the world. Its share price rose following the news as the government will buy the remaining free float and, presumably, take the company off the market.
“ We must have full control over our electricity generation and its performance ,” Borne said in her first major speech in the French Parliament. We must guarantee our sovereignty in the face of the consequences of the war (in Ukraine) and the colossal future challenges ”. … This is why I confirm the State's intention to own 100% of the capital of EDF “.
EDF operates the sizeable French fleet of nuclear reactors, which face a variety of technical and other problems. The new generation reactors are years behind schedule and have exceeded the budget by billions.
Borne will present his main priorities to the National Assembly on Wednesday after last month's parliamentary elections, which caused the government to lose the majority of French President Emmanuel Macron. It seems clear that the Government wants to have full ownership of EDF in order to subsequently recapitalize it, both to support new investments in nuclear and non-fossil energies, and to be able to continue subsidizing private consumption and companies without having to, in any way, compensate private shareholders. With 84% public ownership already the government can do it with a certain simplicity.
What is happening reveals the incredible fragility of the construct wanted by the EU in the last 30 years, all based on privatizations that have not particularly increased the efficiency of public services, but have certainly enriched the private individuals who have invested in them. A form of evolution based on an exploitation of public services that can be economically tolerable, even if ethically doubtful, in times of peace, but which becomes totally inadequate and dangerous in the face of situations of international instability and crises. Yet we too have privatized everything because “Europe wanted it”.
This is a machine translation of a post published on Scenari Economici at the URL https://scenarieconomici.it/sorpresa-sorpresa-lo-stato-francese-vuole-nazionalizzare-edf-la-societa-energetica-nazionale/ on Wed, 06 Jul 2022 16:14:01 +0000.