Venezuela-to-France Cocaine Bust Yields 9 Arrests
President Francois Hollande , who vowed during his election campaign to reduce reliance on nuclear to half of total output by about 2025 while also keeping down consumers bills, hasnt yet said how he will reconcile those aims. The country gets about three-quarters of the power it produces from EDFs 58 nuclear reactors, more than any other nation. The energy transition will cost an estimated 20 billion euros a year, Hollande said yesterday. Our nuclear fleet will be asked to contribute, Ayrault said today at the end of a two-day conference on the environment. The tax would apply over the remaining lifetime of our reactors. Frances Green party, which had said it would withdraw support for the Socialist government over the slow pace of policy initiatives, applauded the carbon tax announcement and new incentives towards home renovations for improved energy use. Ayrault didnt give details of how much EDF, which is 84 percent owned by the government, will have to pay. The utility is compensated for the higher cost of electricity produced by wind turbines and solar panels it buys through a tax on power bills called the CSPE. Carbon Tax The planned carbon tax, to be called a climate energy contribution, will be neutral next year and generate 2.5 billion euros in 2015 and 4 billion euros in 2016, Ayrault said. It will be applied to gasoline, diesel, coal, natural gas as well as heavy and heating fuels. Fishing and transport workers will be exempt from the levy while industrial plants that qualify for carbon quotas will keep their system, according to Ayrault. The governments policy announcements appear to be pragmatic, with very ambitious targets, some would even say hard-to-reach targets, said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, who is chief executive officer of Solvay SA (SOLB) and was speaking for the business lobby Medef. The state appears to have a vision about what it wants the energy mix to be and is giving itself the means to achieve it. Hollande said yesterday the an energy law would be passed by the end of next year capping nuclear-power capacity and granting the state the legal means to shut down reactors.
Britain’s Foreign Office said three Britons were among those arrested. Venezuela’s interior minister, Miguel Rodriguez, said that two National Guard sergeants and one lieutenant were arrested Sunday and that airline workers were suspected of involvement. “We presume there is complicity at the airline,” he said on state TV. Rodriguez said the Sept. 11 seizure at Charles de Gaulle Airport came after several weeks of investigation by French, Spanish, British and Dutch police. The drugs were placed on Flight 368, which departed Caracas on Sept. 10, he said. Air France said in a statement that it is working with police and conducting an internal investigation, and increasing baggage checks at some “sensitive” locations. There was no immediate explanation for why authorities waited nearly two weeks to announce the seizure. Rodriguez said the three National Guard officials arrested were assigned to its counterdrugs command, based at Venezuela’s Simon Bolivar International Airport. “They are the first arrests from an investigation that began the moment information was received from France,” he said. Rodriguez said authorities were interviewing people, reviewing airport security camera video and reviewing baggage tickets for the suitcases. Michael Shifter, president of the Inter-American Dialogue think tank in Washington, said the case supports U.S. accusations of high-level support for drug trafficking in Venezuela’s military as it was unlikely two sergeants and a lieutenant acted alone.
Spain beat Croatia 92-66 earlier Sunday to earn the bronze medal. Guard Antoine Diot all but secured France’s victory with a 3-pointer at the buzzer of the third quarter, after a Lithuania turnover gave France the possession with 0.9 seconds left. Diaw threw the ball to Diot, who nailed a 3 that was upheld after the referees viewed the video to make sure he had beaten the clock. Batum finished the first half with 17 points, shooting 6-for-7 from the field and making three of four 3-pointers. Diaw took over in the third, scoring 11 points on drives to the basket and outside shots. “We didn’t do a bad job defending Parker, but we forgot about the others,” Lithuania coach Jonas Kazlauskas said. France coach Vincent Collet said his team had learned from the times it came up short in the past. “It wasn’t the easiest way, but we improved starting with the quarterfinals. It’s the 36th Euro for France and the first title, you can imagine how we feel,” Collet said. SHARE 59 CONNECT 20 TWEET 1 COMMENTEMAILMORE Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
France Won’t Tax EDF for Energy Shift, Minister Martin Says
Martin was speaking a day after Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault unveiled a plan for nuclear energy to contribute to what the government says will be a shift to more renewables and greater energy efficiency. The prime minister didnt provide details about the levy or how much it would raise. EDFs 58 nuclear reactors generate three-quarters of France s power. It wont be a tax on the company or its clients, Martin said. The nuclear activity of EDF though amortizations that are already over long periods will provide sums that could be used by the state as shareholder that could be used to finance the energy transition. Carole Trivi, an EDF spokeswoman, declined to comment. Hollande vowed during his election campaign to reduce reliance on nuclear to half of total electricity output by about 2025. So far, he has announced plans to shut down EDFs Fessenheim plant in eastern France by the end of 2016. We could do this through more renewables, Martin said yesterday, pushing the question of whether more reactors will be closed to a planned energy law next year. In any case, nuclear will remain at an important level. The energy law will cap nuclear-power capacity and provide the legal means to close reactors, the government has said. Carbon Emissions Ayrault, and Hollande on Sept. 20, also discussed a tax on carbon emissions from fossil fuels such as gasoline, diesel, coal and natural gas that will be neutral next year and generate 2.5 billion euros in 2015 and 4 billion euros in 2016. The tax is one way to raise funds for incentives for home renovations to increase energy efficiency as well as boosting renewables. The country will seek to cut energy use in half by 2050 and fossil fuel use 30 percent by 2030, Hollande said.