‘France willing to help in civil nuclear projects’
Hollande unveiled how France, the EU’s top agricultural producer and main beneficiary of EU farm aid, will implement a new European farm policy agreed earlier this year, a process that has exposed tensions between livestock and grain sectors. The French government has promised to use a renegotiation of the EU’s Common Agriculture Policy to favour livestock farmers, although rejigging the bloc’s complex farm payments has proved a headache. “My first priority is livestock farming,” Hollande said at a livestock show in central France, where he was met with jeers and heckled repeatedly. “To let breeders in the situation they are in today, with lower income than the rest of the profession, higher risks, heavy constraints, is to weaken French agriculture as a whole,” he said. Hollande said France would use measures including a subsidy bonus on the first 52 hectares of each farm, seen favouring smaller livestock farms over crop farms spread over wider areas. NEARLY ONE BILLION EUROS In addition, France would use an option given to EU countries to increase the share of subsidies tied to a type of production, rather than per hectare, to direct more money towards livestock farming, as well as aid for specific sectors such as mountain livestock farmers, Hollande said. “This will represent nearly one billion euros ($1.4 billion)each year to be redirected on this objective with significant effects on the income of our breeders,” Hollande said. He did not detail how much precisely would come from the 9 billion euros in annual EU farm aid per year it will receive in the 2014-2020 period. But to ease the transition for grain growers who would lose some aid, France will reduce disparities in basic subsidies by 70 percent by the end of the period, rather than the total convergence allowed by the EU. The government will also allocate to the small-farm bonus, less money than the maximum authorised under the EU reform. Crop growers have attacked the government’s proposed reweighting of farm aid, saying it assumed permanent high grain prices whereas they were vulnerable to market downturns and faced tough competition to export grain. ($1 = 0.7358 euros) (Additional reporting and writing by Gus Trompiz; editing by David Evans) Tweet this
However, Pakistan has not yet made a formal request for cooperation in producing nuclear electricity. This was stated by the ambassador of France to Pakistan, Philippe Thiebaud, while talking to mediapersons on Wednesday at Schneider Electricas road show. Schneider Electric is a France-based multinational corporation that specialises in electricity distribution and automation management. It displayed its products at a road show titled aWorld of Energy Efficiency for a better Pakistana on Wednesday. The display focused on efficient electric equipment for different consumers, both domestic and industrial, were displayed. While acknowledging that Pakistan was working with China for civil nuclear power, the French ambassador said it was the countryas own choice. However, he said France was ready to consider Pakistanas request for enhancing civil nuclear cooperation. Responding to a query, the ambassador said France had not yet provided any assistance to Pakistan for the construction of the Diamer-Bhasha Dam. However, it was providing assistance for smaller projects such as the Gabban hydropower located in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Jagran project (with a capacity of producing 100MW) and Munda Dam. He also highlighted that France had committed around $300 million to finance different hydropower projects in Pakistan as the country was facing an acute energy crisis. Benoit Dubarle, the companyas country president of UAE, Oman and Pakistan, said the road show would offer a platform to citizens to identify new opportunities and products in the energy sector. aThis is our effort to bring the best technology and expertise in energy management to our customers in Pakistan,a he said. Company representatives told visitors that most of the equipment installed in Pakistan, ranging from power houses and industrial units to domestic appliances, was not energy efficient. aOur equipment is costly but provides electricity efficiency of up to 95 per cent.