Saturday, December 29, 2012

OT: Lights Out for Paris, France

If you venture out in Paris between 1AM and 7AM, bring your torch (flashlight), says UK's Daily Mail.

As France's top court rules his 75% tax rate for the "rich" is unconstitutional, President Hollande goes on, trying to instill "sobriety" in the French by turning off lights in Paris and other cities, towns and villages all over the country.

And save money.

How about saving money by cutting your bureaucracy, Mr. President?

Instead, he will punish people - tradesmen, tourists, locals.

At least in France, rich people are defined as "having 1 million euro income or more", not like the US's 250,000 dollars or worse, Greece's 45,000 euro.

From Mail Online (12/29/2012; emphasis is mine):

Lights to be turned off in France to save money and show 'sobriety'

Paris may lose its trademark glow next year after plans emerged to extinguish its street lighting at night to save money.

French President Francois Hollande and his energy minister Delphine Batho are considering turning out the lights in and outside public buildings, offices and shops in the early hours of the morning.

If the scheme goes ahead, late-night revellers in the city would be advised to carry torches if they venture out between the hours of 1 and 7am.

The rules will also apply to other French cities, villages, and towns.

Batho said the measure would save energy and money, and show 'sobriety', although the plan has proved unpopular with traders.

It follows on from a new rule last July which states businesses must turn off neon lights between 1 and 6am. The measure was introduced as part of the French government's bid to improve its energy efficiency by 20 percent by 2020.

But the proposal was not popular with businesses, who believe that it could kill trade and discourage tourists.

'Visitors and locals follow the light, from one spot to another, all night long,' French chef and culinary consultant Didier Quemener told Quartz.

'My clients don’t want to be in the dark in the City of Light.'

France was visited by more than 81 million tourists in 2011 and the tourism industry employs some 900,000 people, according to government figures cited by

Fearing for the impact on the economy, vice-president of France’s Commerce Council, Sofy Mulle, told Bloomberg there must be a better way.

She said: 'Surely we can work out environmentally friendly solutions that have less impact on our society and economy.'

The plan is already in place at the city’s more than 300 churches, bridges, and monuments, including the Eiffel Tower.

'One of our main objectives is to change the culture,' energy minister Batho told a French TV station.

'We need to end the cycle of producing more because we are consuming more. There should be sobriety in energy use.'

The energy minister Delphine Batho's word sounds ominous to me. To change the culture, to what she and her boss think should be. There should be sobriety, forced by them.

Well, they won the election, so they must be thinking, like the US president and the Japanese prime minister, that they have the mandate.


John Bernhart said...

Sorry, but I must disagree with you. As a father and husband who has been unemployed since fleeing after the Fukushima disaster, I say raise the top income tax rate to 90% for anyone making more than double the national average (for example, 9 million yen per year in Japan). And our growth economy is not sustainable. Something must change or the earth dies. Turning off the lights at night is simply one very tiny step towards sustainability.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Well, sooner or later it may be people making 50% above the national average, then 25% above the national average, then the national average, as the rulers see fit. Or the national average keeps dropping lower. And where will the collected tax money go?

In case of places like Greece, the money goes to pay the government debt.

Anonymous said...

Rent-seekers’ galore, everywhere.

Anonymous said...

That's just insane. As about 80% of France power comes from nuclear (probably 100% at night) they wouldn't save anything. They would only make the electricity more expensive at daytime

Anonymous said...

Money goes towards interest payments, the debt continues to grow.

Punish the population until they succumb.

Anonymous said...

Come on, Laprimavera, you read the Daily mail ? Well, why not, but it is not a reliable source.
For the 75 % ; Endless and useless debate unless the fiscal harmonization is not significantly improved , in the EU and worldwide. There are many tax exemptions opportunities that make this 75 % number a simple creation of the mind. Rich people and rich corporations can buy services to shamelessly avoid taxes by legal, half legal or unlegal but not so risky ways. Of course the middle class don't use these services. They play at kindergarten level.
Now for Batho's, there are actually a few pennies - or Euros to save from tax payers' money, and to save from the trade balance in chasing waste. But don't worry, and don't bring a flashlight next time you come in France.
As you said "they don't have a mandate" and you may consider Batho's words as a lip-service - or a deep throught one - as you like (Daily Mail would choose the second expectation), to the Green Kmehrs that didn't reach 2 % votes. See in a week wht's left of all this.

arevamirpal::laprimavera said...

Daily Mail had the best coverage of March 11, 2011 disaster in March, April, May last year, with great collection of photographs.

Anonymous said...

Mistake of Daily, sorry.

Outsourced benefits administration said...

So what other countries can say about this by "turning off lights in Paris and other cities, towns and villages all over the country" just to save money but what will the tourist would feel that they are being in the dark in the city of light???

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