French unionists pull plug on Bolkstein’s power

14th April 2005, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, April 14 (AFP) - The European Commission expressed regret Thursday that French union workers had cut off electricity to former EU commissioner Frits Bolkestein, whose liberalisation plans have sparked fierce protests in France.

BRUSSELS, April 14 (AFP) - The European Commission expressed regret Thursday that French union workers had cut off electricity to former EU commissioner Frits Bolkestein, whose liberalisation plans have sparked fierce protests in France.

"We hope that his electricity will be reconnected soon," said a spokeswoman for the European Union (EU)'s executive arm, of which Bolkestein was a member until last year.

A group of union-affiliated electricians on Wednesday cut off power to his second home in Ramousies, northeastern France, to "defend public services, and (to fight) against liberalism."

French critics claim the Dutch ex-EU official's services directive, or draft EU law, threatens to cost jobs in countries like France at the hands of low-cost labour in EU newcomer states in central Europe.

Lamenting the "unfortunate" action on Bolkestein's home, the EU commission spokeswoman added: "These were difficulties of which he was not the cause."

© AFP

Subject: French News

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