Friday, December 30, 2005

Oh, So That's What the French Mean by Privatization

I thought the French were trying to make progress with economic reforms. They've been opening up employment regulations, increasing patient contributions to health care, making at least a modicum of show of trying to get the unions to allow them to do anything (not easy), and actually going through with some privatizations ... or so I thought.

I just learned that when the French government privatized their national electricity and gas companies (EDF and GDF) in 2004, they merely reduced the state's participation from 100 to 70 percent. Good grief.

[Thanks,, for this picture.]

I've also just learned from that the government has decided that they will "freeze" GDF rates for the winter in spite of a raise announced last June. Is it any surprise that Poweo, one of France's few independent energy suppliers, is going to "attack" the French government's decision. Well, I wish him good luck. He's a brave man, this Charles Beigbeder. (For more in French, read here. There's also general information about the French situation here in an article I wrote for


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