france - last pit closes
WORKERS, JUNE 2004 ISSUE
La Houve, the last coal mine in France has been closed. 300 years of the French coalmining industry, employing over 300,000 miners at its peak, has ended. Unlike Britain, France depends upon nuclear power for 80% of electricity generation. Unlike Britain, France does not have over 1,000 years of coal reserves. Unlike Britain, France was an initiating signatory to the European Coal and Steel Community in 1952.
This pact was the forerunner of the Treaty of Rome which established the Common Market, then the European Union. By bringing together the two core industries of manufacturing — steel and energy — the capitalists of Europe, including Britain, set in process the demise of those two industries. The closure of British coal and steel industries is a direct result of nearly 55 years of EU directives undermining, restricting, privatisating, penalising and eventually removing control of industry from Britain to Brussels.