French government plans to nationalize electricity giant EDF | Government and politics

By SYLVIE CORBET – The Associated Press

PARIS (AP) — French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said Wednesday that the government plans to nationalize French electricity giant EDF amid an energy crisis worsened by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The French state now has an 84% stake in the company, one of the largest electricity producers in the world.

“We must have total control over our electricity production and our performance,” Borne said in his first major speech to the French parliament. “We must ensure our sovereignty in the face of the consequences of the war (in Ukraine) and the colossal challenges ahead. … This is why I confirm the intention of the State to hold 100% of the capital of EDF.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. AP’s previous story follows below.

PARIS (AP) — French Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne is due to outline her top priorities in parliament on Wednesday after the government lost its majority in last month’s election.

She is expected to face fierce criticism from lawmakers on the left and right, who together now outnumber government supporters in the National Assembly.

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The left-wing coalition, known as Nupes, said it would call a vote of no confidence to symbolically mark its opposition to the government.

This decision is very unlikely to succeed, as it is very unlikely to win the approval of more than half of the legislators in the National Assembly. The main opposition group, the far-right National Rally, has already announced that it will abstain.

If confirmed, the vote of no confidence would be organized within a week, but no earlier than Friday afternoon.

Borne’s office said his Wednesday speech will cover key topics including boosting jobs, tackling climate-related issues, equal opportunities for all and how to strengthen France’s sovereignty. at a time when the war in Ukraine is ongoing. deeply affecting European economies.

The government’s first measure should focus on purchasing power to help struggling households in the face of rising energy and food prices.

The bill must be presented Thursday in the Council of Ministers. It is to include a series of measures worth 25 billion euros ($25.5 billion), including a 4% increase in pensions and some social benefits.

Borne’s speech comes after President Emmanuel Macron’s alliance suffered heavy losses in recent legislative elections. The centrist alliance, Together!, won the most seats in the National Assembly, but lost 44 majority seats as voters opted for the left-wing coalition or the far right.

Having the largest group of lawmakers, the Macron government still has the ability to govern, but only by negotiating with opposition lawmakers. To avoid a stalemate, Macron’s party and its allies want to negotiate compromises on a case-by-case basis with some opposition MPs.

On Monday, Macron reorganized his cabinet and called on his new government to “stay strong” amid Russia’s war in Ukraine and “transform” the heavily indebted French economy.

Three of Macron’s 15 ministers failed to retain their seats in last month’s legislative elections and were replaced.

In addition, Damien Abad, who was minister of disability policy and indicted for rape and sexual misconduct, was also replaced. Abad strongly denies the allegations.

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