Reorganization of EDF: the opposition is organized against the “Hercules” project



Is the schedule accelerating around the reorganization of EDF? This is the fear of all the unions in the company, which are widely opposed to it, as well as many parliamentarians, from the right to the left.

→ INVESTIGATION. Hercules steps aside and EDF stands still

They were warned by the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, that the file was now processed at the Elysee Palace and pending arbitration from the President of the Republic. The government may want to pass in force, with a bill presented to the Council of Ministers by the end of July and discussed in Parliament at the start of the school year., says Communist deputy Sébastien Jumel.

According to him, the objective would be to achieve, before France takes over the presidency of the European Union, to the 1er January and while the file poisons relations with the Commission. “We are in the process of remaking the blow of the change of status from EDF and GDF to a public limited company, a prelude to their listing on the stock market. This had been decided during the summer of 2004 when we were told that nothing would happen ”, says Sébastien Michel, Federal Secretary of FO Energie.

A separation into three entities

Originally baptized “Hercules”, then “Grand EDF ”, the project aims to give EDF more resources to invest both in the modernization of its fleet of reactors and in renewables. Everyone recognizes that the current status quo is not sustainable, because the company is already heavily in debt and solutions must be found.

In the scheme adopted, this would involve both an increase in the selling price of nuclear electricity that the company is obliged to sell to its competitors (EDF would thus earn more money), but also a Total overhaul of the group, split into several entities, as requested in return by the European Commission, which has never seen favorably the dominant weight of the electrician on the French market.

The nuclear part would thus be housed in a structure 100% owned by the State, the dams would be grouped together in a control room, while the distribution (Enedis) and renewables would be grouped together in a “green EDF”, with around a third of the total. capital put on the stock market.

Broad political opposition

For once united, the unions are talking about a “Disintegration” of the company. They are not the only ones. An unprecedented front of parliamentarians was also formed to say no to the project. There are Republicans, Socialists, Communists and representatives of La France Insoumise at the same time. Even within En Marche, there are many reservations. Cautious, Bruno Le Maire explains for his part that the reform cannot be implemented without the approval of employee representatives.

We do not all have the same opinions on energy policy, there are supporters and opponents of nuclear power. But we dispute being sidelined on such an important subject for the future of the country. We are not aware of anything in the discussions with Brussels and the government tells us stories to fall asleep ”, says Delphine Batho, the former socialist minister of ecology, now a non-attached member.

Uncertainties around Enedis

According to the unions, many questions remain unanswered, in particular on the financial transfers that could be authorized between the entities. At Bercy, we are assured that it is out of the question to abandon the integrated model of the company.

→ READ. At EDF, the Hercule project is struggling to pass

The fate of Enedis is not settled either. The distribution subsidiary is making money and this would only explain its presence in EDF vert, which will be put on the market. But the hostility of the staff and many communities, owners of the networks, could encourage the government to procrastinate, by keeping Enedis 100% public.

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