When politicians aspire to royalty and bureaucrats to aristocracy you move inexorably toward "...a political system
where the state holds total authority over the society and seeks to
control all aspects of public and private life wherever necessary."
That's the definition of totalitarian.
Power Hogs Targeted by France in Big Brother Legislation
Heating a French home could soon require an income tax consultation or even a visit to the doctor under legislation to force conservation in the nation’s $46 billion household energy market.
A bill adopted by the lower house this month would set prices that homes pay based on wages, age and climate. Utilities Electricite de France SA and GDF Suez SA (GSZ) will use the data to reward consumers who cut power and natural gas usage and penalize those whom regulators decide are wasteful.
“It’s Orwellian,” opposition lawmaker Daniel Fasquelle said by telephone. “The law will create huge inequalities and infringe on people’s individual freedoms. It won’t work.”This is our third "short the French" post this week. I am not kidding, I know of no other bet that is as close to being a lock.
Socialist President Francois Hollande is pushing boundaries of privacy and privilege in carrying out a campaign promise to reduce energy costs. France, which built the world’s biggest reliance on nuclear power as other nations buckled under public anxiety over atomic energy, is now seeking support to reward homes for “negawatts,” or not using a kilowatt of power.
The law would be unique to France and is symbolic to the Socialists, a government official who declined to be identified said yesterday. Households bought 35 billion euros ($46 billion) of energy in 2011, including power, gas and other heating fuels.
The legislation drew criticism from trade unions and industry groups. It will add layers of bureaucracy to a power system already attacked in court and antitrust probes for being oppressive for customers and competitors of EDF (EDF) and GDF Suez, the former state monopolies that still dominate supply, opponents said.
While the government said the changes won’t cut earnings at EDF and GDF Suez, the uncertainty may weigh on their shares that investors have already marked down by 1.2 percent and 2.2 percent, respectively, in the past three months while the Bloomberg European Utilities Index (BEUTIL) gained 5.2 percent.
The proposed law was adopted by the National Assembly on Oct. 4 and is set for Senate debate later this month. Opposition from Communist members has pushed a Senate commission to postpone its examination until Oct. 23 so some revisions can be made. The draft contravenes the principle of equal access to energy across France and should be completely revised, Communist senators said in a statement late yesterday....MUCH MORE