Several hundred people formed Sunday a human chain near a dam in the Isere to protest against the opening to competition of part of the French hydroelectric park, envisaged by the government in 2018.
Gathered at the initiative of the Communist Party, local elected officials, unions and sympathizers lined up at around 2:00 pm on a bridge overlooking the Sautet dam in Corps, symbolically erecting against a "liberal logic" that they deem "contrary to the general interest. "
" No to the privatization of hydropower "and" No to the privatization of dams ", could one read on two large banners deployed on the safety barriers of the bridge, while a A similar meeting was held at the same time in the Indre.
"We are calling for the public and public protection of all the dams in France.The logic in which the government engages risk to lead to the privatization of this resource useful to the ecological transition, "said PCF national secretary Pierre Laurent.
In early January, the Macron government sent the EU a list of 150 hydropower projects – out of the 400 of the French fleet – which could be opened to competition by 2022.
Among them the alpine dams of Lac Mort, Drac upstream, Beaufortain and Super Bissorte could be the first to be offered for purchase in 2018.
protesters blame the government for having ceded secretly to an injunction of the European Union, which has been pressing France for several years to put an end to the historic monopoly of EDF.
"The injunction of the The EU is based on an argument that no longer holds because this monopoly sinks a little more each year. Therefore, why does France engage this opening when it has always resisted? "Wonders Fabrice Coudour, Secretary General CGT Energie Savoie.
The union leader, who predicts" collateral damage " in various sectors such as tourism, stresses the importance of maneuvering in "a logic of defense concessions through Services of General Interest (SGI)."
"We want to disseminate this heritage in the hands of private operators which will have other objectives, and in particular those of reaping profits ", laments Pierre Laurent, reminding that the State" has a lot of money to be made "because" these dams are today largely depreciated ".
In 2013, MP Marie-Noëlle Battistel, the author of a parliamentary report on hydroelectric concessions, noted the "lack of reciprocity" in most other European countries, which "organized themselves to escape this misery. In competition "
" Monopoly upstream does not prevent the opening of the downstream market, "she insists.