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France is Bankrupt. The 'City of Light' - will turn off lights, to save money

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
January 31st, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

The ""bankrupt" French government, in an attempt to deal with mounting debt has decreed that all non-residential buildings will need to turn off their lights at night in a bid to save $950 million annually. Beginning July 1, interior lights will have to be turned off within an hour of the last person leaving the premises, while all exterior lights and shop fronts will have to be plunged into darkness by 1 a.m.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The new law is also intended to cut back on CO2 emissions. A senior member of French President Francois Hollande's Socialist government had declared earlier that the country was "totally bankrupt."

The French environment ministry hopes the move will both save energy and reduce light pollution. Authorities are expected to allow exceptions for Christmas lighting and other local events.
 
The new edict will save about two terawatt/hours of electricity a year, which is the equivalent of the annual consumption of 750,000 households, the ministry said.

Light pollution disrupts ecosystems and people's sleep patterns, Environment Minister Delphine Batho said. The new rule will make France a European pioneer in addressing this issue.

In the meantime, Michel Sapin, who is in charge of the employment ministry in Paris, made it clear the government's tax-and-spend policies were not working.

"There is a state but it is a totally bankrupt state. That is why we had to put a deficit reduction plan in place, and nothing should make us turn away from that objective." Colleagues in the Socialist administration said Sapin was only highlighting faults of the previous government of Nicolas Sarkozy.

"What he meant was that the fiscal situation was worrying," Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said.

A poll by Le Figaro newspaper showed eight out of ten readers agreed that France was indeed bankrupt.

The "tax-and-spend" policies of have come under attack from critics. In response, international film star Gerard Depardieu obtained a Russian passport, bought a house in Belgium and put his Paris home on the market.

Data from the Bank of France shows capital investment is leaving the country every day. Rating agencies Moody's and Standard & Poor's have both already removed France's once-coveted AAA credit.

Hollande is currently trying to revive France's economic fortunes by cutting spending by the equivalent of more than $80 billion. Hollande has also pledged to increase taxes by $30 billion over the next five years.

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