Dutch cabinet, parliament unable to block Essent sale

15th January 2009, Comments 0 comments

Despite fierce opposition from political parties, the cabinet and parliament maintain they are unable to block the sale of the Dutch power company to RWE.

THE HAGUE –The cabinet and parliament are unable to block the intended sale of power company Essent to its German competitor RWE, said Economic Affairs Minister Maria van der Hoeven in an emergency debate in parliament.

The provinces of North Brabant, Overijssel and Limburg are major shareholders in Essent, and stand to gain billions of euros if the sale goes ahead.

However, the Labour Party, one of the main coalition parties, as well as the Socialist Party, Freedom Party and the Green Left party are fiercely opposed to the deal.

RWE has a reputation for lobbying against all forms of sustainable energy. Its fuel mix for power generation consists of 35 percent of brown coal and 33 percent of coal - the two fuels that cause the most pollution and the highest emissions of greenhouse gasses. 

Labour MP Diederik Samsom has called on local and provincial Labour politicians to reject the sale of Essent, but Labour leader and Deputy Prime Minister Wouter Bos refused to endorse his appeal. 

Minister Van der Hoeven of Christian Democrats party told parliament that the Borssele nuclear plant in the province of Zeeland would remain in Dutch hands under any circumstances. The plant is jointly owned by the Essent and Delta power companies. Delta has offered to take over Essent's share in the Borssele plant.

[Radio Netherlands / Expatica]

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