While Presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy has been in the limelight all summer, French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin has resurfaced to give a speech about – among other things – EU energy policy [story from EUObserver here]. De Villepin is quoted as saying:
The liberalisation of energy markets is not understood by our citizens. That is what they blame as the main cause of their bills rising. It is up to us to explain that the only long-term answer is to create a great European energy market.
Well, how could the French population possibly have worked out what EU energy liberalisation means? They have barely seen it as EDF and GDF continue to rule the roost in France, not allowing competition in. Add that to the very lukewarm approach to liberalisation of the German government, and German firm E.On buying up companies across the EU and this great energy market would probably be a Franco-German duopoly with plenty of nuclear power if de Villepin had his way. Oh, he also mentioned the idea that Europe needs a ‘energy representative’ to negotiate with energy suppliers. And why can’t the Commissioner do that? Or is he just too anti-nuclear, or insufficiently pro-French? What a lot of rubbish.