France Won’t Tax EDF for Energy Shift, Minister Martin Says
Until Sunday. France won its first ever European title on Sunday, pulling away from Lithuania in the second quarter and cruising to an 80-66 win. France did it with a lineup that should look pretty familiar to Spurs fans Parker, Boris Diaw , and Nando De Colo . But it was another NBA player who key on Sunday in Serbia. Portlands Nicolas Batum took control in the second quarter when France pulled away with an 18-3 run that led to a 31-12 quarter for France. Batum hit a few threes and finished with a team high 17 points on the night, plus six boards. Lithuania led by three after one quarter mostly thanks to Linas Kleiza but after the run they were down 16 at the half and the entire second half felt was like a coronation for France. The outcome was never really in doubt those final 20 minutes. For past couple weeks of the European championships Parker has been the best player on the court, but in the championship game he was a cold (4-of-14 to start, he hit 2 of his last 3 and finished with 12 points). But the win is all he will care about Parker has been incredibly loyal to the French national team for years and has said a European championship was something he really wanted on his resume. Now he has it. The Raptors Jonas Valanciunas had looked strong through the tournament but he played just 11 minutes in the finals and had no points and three rebounds. He had some foul trouble but not going to him more was an odd coaching choice. Diaw added 15 points and six boards for France. Kleiza had 20 points to lead Lithuania.
Lithuania shut down Parker but could not handle his teammates, who provided the big shots when France needed them. France broke open a close game by finishing the third quarter with a 14-0 run that kept Lithuania scoreless for four minutes. The French lead grew to 22 points with three minutes remaining in the third and Lithuania never came close to a comeback. Nicolas Batum had 17 points and Boris Diaw added 15, while Linas Kleiza led Lithuania with 20. Parker finished with 12 points, after scoring four through the first three quarters. But his scoring and leadership during the run to the final – including 32 points against defending champion Spain in the semifinals – earned the San Antonio Spurs guard the tournament MVP award. The win finally ended years of frustration for a fine French generation that included six NBA players on its roster. It lost the final to Spain two years ago, having taken bronze in 2005. After finally capturing that elusive gold – in France’s record 36th appearance in the tournament – Parker led the French team into the stands to celebrate with their fans after the final buzzer. Spain beat Croatia 92-66 earlier Sunday to earn the bronze medal. Guard Antoine Diot polished off France’s victory with a 3-pointer at the buzzer, after a Lithuania turnover gave them the possession with 0.9 seconds left. Boris Diaw threw the ball to Diot, who nailed a 3 that was uphel after the referees viewed the video to make sure he had beaten the clock. Batum finished the first half with 17 points, shooting 6-for-7 from the field and making three of four 3-pointers. Diaw took over in the third, scoring 11 points on drives to the basket and outside shots.
In no way will there be a tax either on the company or its customers, Environment Minister Philippe Martin said in an interview on RTL radio yesterday. The state, an EDF shareholder, will benefit from the amortization of nuclear reactors. Martin was speaking a day after Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault unveiled a plan for nuclear energy to contribute to what the government says will be a shift to more renewables and greater energy efficiency. The prime minister didnt provide details about the levy or how much it would raise. EDFs 58 nuclear reactors generate three-quarters of France s power. It wont be a tax on the company or its clients, Martin said. The nuclear activity of EDF though amortizations that are already over long periods will provide sums that could be used by the state as shareholder that could be used to finance the energy transition. Carole Trivi, an EDF spokeswoman, declined to comment. Hollande vowed during his election campaign to reduce reliance on nuclear to half of total electricity output by about 2025. So far, he has announced plans to shut down EDFs Fessenheim plant in eastern France by the end of 2016. We could do this through more renewables, Martin said yesterday, pushing the question of whether more reactors will be closed to a planned energy law next year. In any case, nuclear will remain at an important level. The energy law will cap nuclear-power capacity and provide the legal means to close reactors, the government has said.