Electrabel wants its money back
Belgian electricity generator Electrabel is taking legal action against the Belgian state.
Belgian electricity generator Electrabel is taking legal action in an attempt to get back the 240 million euros that it was charged by the Belgian state for "unwarranted profits made with the help of nuclear power plants".
The Belgian Government was hard up for cash and Electrabel seemed an easy and popular target.
Profits made as a result of the rise in fuel prices are a sore point for many people.
The Belgian Government argued that construction costs made during the building of Belgian nuclear power plants had meanwhile been earned back and that for a couple of years now Electrabel had been making "unwarranted profits".
By introducing special legislation the Government obliged Electrabel to pay an extra 240 million euros into state coffers and ease the deficit problem.
The Government and Electrabel have been bickering about the payment for a year.
GDF Suez, Electrabel's parent company, is up in arms, saying that the law was unjust and unacceptable.
First the company decided not to pay, but in the event the cash was handed over.
Electrabel has now decided to take the matter to Belgium's Constitutional Court in the hope of recuperating the millions.
Electrabel chief, Gérard Mestrallet, had hoped for a compromise after a meeting with Belgian Premier Herman Van Rompuy (Flemish Christian Democrat), but this came to nothing.
Electrabel will argue that the law is discriminatory because only generators using nuclear power are affected.