AREVA, EDF, environment, France, Franco, legal code, Manuel Valls, NRC, nuclear, nuclear accident, nuclear disaster, nuclear energy, nuclear industry, nuclear power, nuclear waste, Prime Minister, slowdown strike, Spain, strike, work
Workers at All of France’s 19 Nuclear Power Stations Vote to Strike
First, workers at Nogent-sur-Seine nuclear power station voted on Tuesday night, 24 May, to power down the still operating nuclear reactor starting on Wednesday night for a 24 hour period as a protest against major modifications in the work legal code. It will take several days for the reactor to power back up. The other reactor at the site is already down due to a technical problem.
On Wednesday night, 25 May, workers at the other 18 nuclear power stations also voted to strike. This means that all 19 nuclear power stations in France will be on strike from early Thursday morning. While Nogent-sur-Seine said that they intend to power the reactor down to 0% output, to join the 0% output of the other reactor, the exact program followed by the other striking power stations was to be decided upon late on Wednesday night or early Thursday.
Backlash Against Dictatorial Strategy of Prime Minister Manuel Valls
While France has strike reports like weather reports, such large-scale protest is comparatively rare. This is backlash against Prime Minister Manuel Valls who, in line with authoritarian fascist roots, shoved a law through parliament amending the work code, without vote. Yes, that’s right, there is some 1958 constitutional loophole allowing for this. We haven’t had time to see if it is related to the still ongoing State of Emergency in France, which is based on a law from the same period during the Algerian War. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_49_de_la_Constitution_de_la_Cinquième_République_française Adieu Democracy.
Already Valls has pushed for an ever extending state of emergency, which has been criticized by the UN and Human Rights groups due to both abuses and to its dangerously authoritarian overreach in both time and space. States of Emergency are supposed to be limited in duration and in location. This one is going on and on and on. The alleged authoritarian shoe certainly fits Manuel Valls. Franco-Spanish appears to have a double meaning in this context.
His authoritarian over-reach has back-fired in the form of mass protests of which shutting down nuclear reactors is only part. Although he would have people believe otherwise, Manuel Valls’ grandfather was reportedly both a banker and owner of a newspaper which was supporter of Francoist (fascist) ideas, and shut down for that reason. Indeed, his family timeline suggests that his family didn’t leave Spain due to Franco-fascism, but rather his Spanish father was an artist. The family of his Swiss mother reportedly made their fortunes from California gold and then African gold (Sierra Leone).
Whatever his ancestral political pedigree really is or is not, like his compatriot Anne Hildalgo, the Mayor of Paris, Valls acts in an arrogant, high-handed and anti-democratic manner. He shares much in common with former Haitian Prime Minister LaMothe, whose mother was a student in Franco’s Spain. The anti-democratic, anti-free speech views of Valls, Hidalgo, and LaMothe only serve to remind the world of the Spanish Inquisition and Franco’s Spain. The Spanish Inquisition ran from 1 November 1478 to 15 July 1834; Franco was in office from 1 April 1939 – 20 November 1975. This wasn’t very long ago at all. Valls and Hildago show the risk that freedom loving countries run by allowing economic migration from authoritarian regimes-dictatorships. It is unlikely that political refugees who fled from Franco’s Spain would behave in this manner. The traditionally democratic countries appear to have long favoured economic migration from authoritarian regimes, probably with the goal of diluting populations who believe that they should have rights.
The French people will have none of this authoritarianism and stomping on their rights. And, they are always willing to go to the streets and if necessary literally fight it out. That’s how they got and maintained their rights in the first place. Isn’t free speech and democracy easier and safer for all involved, in the long run, than authoritarianism?
Powering down nuclear reactors in protest is a nice change from the narrow parochialism which not very long ago had Le Creusot workers and unions begging the French government to push more nuclear in order to give them more work making parts for new nuclear reactors. Never mind that French State owned Le Creusot Forge-Areva can’t even seem to make a non-defective reactor pressure vessel, and may have made many other defective nuclear parts over the decades. Their outlook seems to be too myopic and parochial to care. The same is true of some British trade unions.
It is, however, important to note that the French nuclear safety authority (ASN) presented its annual report to the French Senate on Wednesday the 25th. And, hundreds of pages of related documents have been posted at the ASN web site (in French; some may be eventually translated). Among other things, the ASN announced that they lack sufficient staffing to look after safety of operating reactors AND watchdog construction of new nuclear reactors. Therefore they will focus on operating reactors. Furthermore, a representative of Human Rights Watch appeared in French parliament on Wednesday. To discuss the French State of Emergency perhaps? And, there was discussion on immigration policy as well. All coincidence?
It wasn’t so long ago that the French were literally able to peacefully skip, hop and jump in protests throughout the streets of Paris without fear of getting pepper-sprayed or beaten up or going to jail, but those days appear long past, and the bad old days seem to have been back for some time. The extended state of emergency can but exacerbate these abuses.
France Nuclear Power Station map by Sting-Roulex45-Domaina, CC-BY-SA via Wikipedia. Link to original at bottom of the blog post.
“UPDATE 1-French nuclear plant workers to go on strike Thursday – CGT union Posted:Wed, 25 May 2016 14:50:40 -0400
* Unions” http://feeds.reuters.com/~r/reuters/utilitiesNews/~3/W0EPuJkg4AQ/france-politics-protests-nuclearpower-idUSL5N18M5IX
Manuel Valls’ father Xavier Valls is the son of Magi Valls, Catalan banker and founder of the Conservative Catholic newspaper El Mati, which was closed by the Spanish Republic due to the danger of its Francoist (fascist) ideas, says the Wikipedia article excerpted below. Francoist Spain was from 1939 to 1978. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francoist_Spain Manuel’s father lived in Paris starting in 1948 and won a scholarship in 1949, well after Franco took power. Manuel was even born in Spain in 1962, showing that his family had no fears of returning to Spain under Franco’s rule. Whether or not the family was pro-Francoist, they apparently were not anti-Francoist.
In “Valls, bien né sous les ors du franquisme“, 24heuresactu, by Louis Blase, 29 April 2014, Blase says that one learns in the book “The True Face of Manuel Valls”, that the French Prime Minister is absolutely not the son of an opponent to Franco who had to leave Catalonia like he wants people to believe, but on the contrary the pure product of the Spanish upper class, friend of the Franco regime, with a banker grand-father and owner of a very Catholic newspaper “El Mati”, father artist and mother who had money due to gold from colonies where her family owned mines and hotels.
The gold of Manuel Vall’s mother’s family came from both California and Sierra Leone, according to the book: https://explicithistoire.files.wordpress.com/2015/08/ratier-emmanuel-le-vrai-visage-de-manuel-valls.pdf
More English below these French extracts.
“Xavier Valls est le fils de Magi Valls, banquier catalan fondateur du journal catholique conservateur El Matí1, journal conservateur fermé par la République espagnole pour le danger de ses idées franquistes… Xavier Valls, né Xavier Valls i Subirà le 18 septembre 1923 à Horta (Barcelone) et mort le 16 septembre 2006 (à 82 ans) à Barcelone, est un artiste peintre espagnol d’origine catalane qui a vécu à Paris à partir de 1948. Peintre de natures mortes, aquarelliste, il a aussi réalisé des compositions d’art sacré… Xavier Valls obtient en 1949 une bourse d’un mois de l’Institut français de Barcelone pour se rendre à Paris où il décide de rester, en habitant d’abord à Montparnasse, qui est le quartier des artistes. Il aide Fernand Léger dans sa réalisation de vitraux. Il devient ami avec Luis Fernández, Tristan Tzara, Salomón, Christian Zervos et Giacometti, autour de débats au café Mabillon… Il fait un voyage en Italie où il rencontre Luisangela Galfetti, une Suissesse italienne3 qu’il épouse en 1958. Il installe alors sa famille et son atelier dans un appartement de trois niveaux appartenant à la ville de Paris, dans Le Marais, quai de l’Hôtel-de-Ville, face à l’île Saint-Louis. Il repart cependant vivre à Barcelone, où il meurt en 2006“. https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Xavier_Valls
“Nous apprenons dans «le vrai visage de Manuel Valls», titre du livre, que notre ministre n’est absolument pas le fils d’un opposant au franquisme qui aurait du quitter la Catalogne comme il voudrait le faire croire, mais bien au contraire le pur produit de la haute bourgeoisie espagnole, amie du régime de Franco, grand-père banquier et patron du journal très catholique «el Mati», père artiste et mère argentée grâce à son commerce de l’or des colonies, où elle possède mines et hôtels.” https://web.archive.org/web/20160407231320/http://24heuresactu.com/2014/04/29/valls-bien-ne-sous-les-ors-du-franquisme/
“Manuel Carlos Valls Galfetti naît le 13 août 19621,2 dans le quartier d’Horta, à Barcelone3. Naturalisé français en 1982, il est l’une des personnalités politiques élues en France, avec Sergio Coronado, Anne Hidalgo, Esther Benbassa, Eva Joly, Jean-Vincent Placé, Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, Pouria Amirshahi, Eduardo Rihan Cypel ou Kofi Yamgnane, à avoir acquis tardivement la nationalité française par naturalisation4. Il bénéficie de la loi organique no 83-1096 du 20 décembre 1983, qui lève l’empêchement fait aux naturalisés récents, (ancien article 128 du Code électoral) depuis moins de dix ans, de briguer un mandat électoral.
Il est le fils de Xavier Valls, artiste peintre catalan (1923-2006)5,6, et de Luisangela Galfetti, originaire du Tessin en Suisse, sœur de l’architecteAurelio Galfetti7,8. Son grand-père paternel Magí Valls, fonde la banque Pons i Valls9. Collaborateur du journal catalan et catholique El Matí (1929-1936), il cache des prêtres persécutés par les trotskistes durant la guerre civile1. Un cousin de son père, Manuel Valls i Gorina, a composé l’hymne du FC Barcelone, dont il est un fervent supporter10.”
“Le 10 mai 2016, Manuel Valls décide de recourir à l’article 49, alinéa 3 de la Constitution83 qui permet de faire adopter le texte sans vote. Les Républicains et l’UDI déposent une motion de censure alors que les frondeurs socialistes tentent d’en déposer une autre avec le Front de gauche et des députés écologistes mais ne parviennent à recueillir que 56 signatures au lieu des 58 requises8”
Hidalgo alleges that her relatives were Republicans in the Civil War. Is this proven? Furthermore, she was born in Spain in 1959 under Franco and her family was economic migrants. She is maintaining dual nationality which should not be allowed for any politician anywhere : “Hidalgo was born in San Fernando, near Cádiz, in Andalusia, Spain. Her paternal grandfather was a Spanish Socialist who became a refugee in France after the end of the Spanish Civil War along with his wife and his four children. However, her grandparents returned to Spain some time later. Her grandmother died on the return trip whilst her grandfather was sentenced to death, although this was eventually commuted to a life sentence. Hidalgo’s father was raised by his maternal grandparents. He was an electrician. In the late 1950s, he married a seamstress; they had two daughters, Ana (Anne) and María (Marie). However, due to the difficult economic climate in Spain during this period, Hidalgo’s parents migrated, this time as economic immigrants, to France. They settled in Lyon in 1961, with their two daughters. She grew up in Vaise, a neighborhood of Lyon, speaking Spanish with her parents and French with her sister. Her parents are now back in Spain while her elder sister, Marie, manages a company in Los Angeles, California. Hildago became a French citizen at the age of fourteen; she is also a Spanish citizen.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Hidalgo
And, let us not forget, that dictatorial Stalinists were among those who fought in the Spanish Civil War. It wasn’t just democrats vs. fascists, there were Stalinists in the mix fighting the fascists too. The Spanish Inquisition ran from 1 November 1478 to 15 July 1834: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Inquisition
Franco was in office from 1 April 1939 – 20 November 1975 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francisco_Franco http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_Civil_War This peerage link for Hidalgo shows up on Spanish wiki: http://www.thepeerage.com/p55333.htm#i553322
Nuclear Power Station Map: “user:Sting and Roulex_45 and user:Domaina – Base map: File:Nuclear_power_plants_map_France-fr.svg by user:Sting Modifications by user:Roulex_45 and user:Domaina
Carte des centrales nucléaires françaises, classées par types
* CC BY-SA 3.0
* File:Nuclear power plants map France-fr 2.svg
* Erstellt: 25. Mai 2011”