Energy workers protest privatisationsin Paris demo Thursday

26th May 2004, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, May 26 (AFP) - Tens of thousands of electricity and gas workers are expected to march through central Paris Thursday to protest against the centre-right government's plans to change the status of the public utility companies EDF and GDF.

PARIS, May 26 (AFP) - Tens of thousands of electricity and gas workers are expected to march through central Paris Thursday to protest against the centre-right government's plans to change the status of the public utility companies EDF and GDF.

Localised power-cuts were also being predicted as some staff stage a 24-hour strike.

Unions have chartered trains and buses to bring workers from across the country and hope some 80,000 will take part in the morning demonstration from the Bastille to the Invalides.

Last Wednesday the cabinet approved plans to remove the state guarantee from EDF and GDF and turn them into limited companies. The change has been made necessary by the liberalisation of the EU energy market.

Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy has promised that the state's stake in the companies will not drop below 65 percent.

This week EDF has taken out full-page advertisements in French newspapers to explain why it believes the change in status is good for the company and for customers.

© AFP

Subject: French news


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