Is France Turning Racist?

The extension would add value to the biggest nuclear operator by improving its earnings and cutting debt, according to Louis Boujard, an analyst at Banco BPI SA. EDF rose 2.2 percent to 25.05 euros by the close in Paris. The impact of a lifespan extension would be positive on recurring earnings potential of EDF and would trigger a further deleveraging of the company, Boujard said in a note. Extending to 51 years would add 5 euros a share to the company, he said. The valuation would increase by 13.8 euros a share with an extension to 50 years, Martin Young, an analyst at RBC Capital Markets , said in a report last month, though that effect would be lowered by benefit sharing with the state or customers. Increasing Renewables The nuclear activity of EDF through amortizations that are already over long periods will provide sums that could be used by the state as shareholder, Minister Martin said. Funds may help boost French energy efficiency and renewables, he said. The Commission de Regulation de lEnergie regulator said in a study in June that extending amortization would have large and lasting consequences for electricity production costs as well as a one-time financial advantage for the utility. Amortization was pushed to 40 years from 30 years in 2003. An extension to 50 years would allow EDF to cut provisions, the regulator said. It may also curb state-set tariff increases. While EDF is seeking to operate its French reactors for 60 years, the regulatory system doesnt allow for the government to simply extend the operating lives. Autorite de Surete Nucleaire , the atomic regulator, carries out in-depth inspections on each reactor every 10 years, granting permission on a case-by-case basis depending on its findings. The regulator is also able to order the shutdown of a reactor on safety considerations. We are a long way from making a decision on extending beyond 40 years, Pierre-Franck Chevet, head of the ASN, told parliament in April.

Spot on France edge Iceland thriller

Britain’s ruling conservatives fear the prospect of UKIP taking so many of the votes they lose the next elections. Meanwhile, another euroskeptic party, Alternative for Germany, just missed out on a place in the Bundestag in last month’s general election. It came from nowhere to fall just short of the threshold of 5 percent the national vote needed to enter Parliament. But is the rise in the vote of these once-fringe groups the result of immigration, or of skepticism about Europe, or is it simply a protest vote against hard times and economic stagnation? Most likely, it is a combination of the three, combined with distrust of conventional politicians. Whatever the components of their appeal, it makes it difficult to dismiss these parties as “extreme right” or racist or even neo-Nazi. It is more complex than that. Austria’s Freedom Party is drawing mass support from working-class, blue-collar voters, University of Vienna political scientist Sylvia Kritzinger says, “Because of the policies they put forward, like immigration reform , anti-European integration, anti-corruption in the political system.” In France, the FN appears to be losing its pariah status and appealing to disillusioned socialist and conservative voters with promises to crack down on crime and illegal immigration and to leave the euro currency. Under its new leader, Marine Le Pen, a lawyer and mother of three, the FN’s image has both broadened and softened since the days when it was founded and led by her father, Jean-Marie Le Pen , who was easily dismissed as an extremist for calling the Holocaust “a footnote of history.” In last year’s presidential election, when she won 17 percent of the vote, almost 1-in-5 women and nearly a quarter of those aged 18-25 voted for her. The real tide that is running is the steady erosion of the traditional two-party system of left and right that harks back to the days of Karl Marx when a party of capital faced a party of labor. That two-party system no longer reflects social reality, when the labor unions are weak and there is no longer a mass industrial working class. Moreover capital tends to mean pension funds rather than rich factory owners in top hats.

After ending his 15-match run without a France goal, Benzema was quick to play it down. “I knew it wouldn’t last 10 years. But once again, the most important thing is the team, not me,” the Real Madrid striker said. “It had been a while. I’m very happy but it’s not just about my goal. You have to talk about the match, how spectacular it was. If it was 6-0 then that’s down to the whole team.” Benzema remains under pressure, however, and in the last two games has lost his starting place to Arsenal’s Olivier Giroud, who scored twice and led the line brilliantly against the Australians with his touch and link play. “Giroud must take credit,” Deschamps said. “He started against Belarus and yesterday, and he also scored.” Giroud said in an interview leading up to the game that he felt he had earned the right to start at No. 9. “We scored six, that’s why I’m smiling today, and because I scored twice.

Confidence returning to improving France team

Sverrir Ingason had given Iceland an early lead and the hosts also led 2-1 before falling behind. Holmbert Fridjonsson’s spot kick looked to have earned a draw for Eyjolfur Sverrisson’s men before Ntep De Madiba struck. The game started perfectly for the hosts as the head of captain Ingason powered them ahead after nine minutes. Lindsay Rose drew France level with a header of his own from a Florian Thauvin cross, before the French scorer turned into his own net on 57 minutes to restore the home lead. Yassine Benzia then struck twice in two minutes to turn the game on its head and put Willy Sagnol’s men in the driving seat. Fridjonsson scored with his first touch, converting a penalty to make it all square a minute after coming off the bench, but Ntep De Madiba kept his nerve to score from the penalty spot and move France level with Iceland with a game in hand. “I’ll take the three points today,” said Sagnol. “We reacted well, but I would rather my team act than react. Sometimes it’s good to win difficult games like this because that experience helps you build a good team for the future. But we could have done so much more to make this not so much an easy match, but an easier match.” 1998-2013. All rights reserved. Last updated: 14/10/13 23.56CET