Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne had announced the government’s desire to 100% renationalize EDF, heavily indebted and unable to launch a new nuclear program.
The National Assembly on Tuesday voted to fund the state’s 100 percent renationalization of EDF, a €9.7 billion operation aimed at lifting the power generation and distribution group out of its financial and industrial crisis.
MEPs approved these loans by 209 votes to 156 when examining the draft amending budget for 2022. Environmentalists denounced the “course to all-atom”, while LR regretted the closure of the nuclear power plant in Fessenheim.
In total, the assembly voted in the second half of the year for an amount of 12.7 billion euros for possible support operations for strategically important French companies.
“We are carrying out this operation in order to be completely independent” and for the “restart of the nuclear program in France” with six new EPR reactors, underlined Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire.
“Nuclear energy has suffered terribly from the abandonment of the industry in recent years,” he added in a rowdy atmosphere.
“Private investors will not come to finance the six new reactors,” “programs with too little profitability,” and “in the long run, the best investor is the public investor,” he said.
“A Blank Check”
The ecologist Sabrina Sebaihi castigated the “old all-atom model” despite “half the power plant shutdown” and pleaded for renewable energies. The communist Nicolas Sansu also denounced a decision “without a strategy for socializing losses and privatizing profits”.
Against this operation, centrist Charles de Courson believed that “the right decision” was rather “to increase EDF’s capital”.
On the right, the leader of the LR deputies, Olivier Marleix, without opposing the measure, expressed his “regret for the ten-year abandonment of the nuclear industry”.
On the far right, RN Jean-Philippe Tanguy voted against “a blank check” in an indictment against Emmanuel Macron and called for EDF to repeat what “worked before” with a “real monopoly”. He called the National Council of Resistance.
“The Rally National that claims to be CNR isn’t lacking in salt,” said Bruno Le Maire to applause.
The government already owns 84% of EDF and intends to launch a public takeover bid (OPA) that is due to end at the end of October. This return of the State to 100% in EDF was announced on July 6th by Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne.