It’s not a surprise. This Wednesday, the Council of Ministers formalized the appointment of former Prime Minister Jean Casex as head of the RATP and senior civil servant Luc Remont as head of the EDF.
A few days ago, the RATP Board of Directors already approved the appointment of a prime minister to replace Catherine Guillouard before entering the Council of Ministers. Jean Castex had previously appeared before the deputies, who also voted in favor of his appointment. Its problems are numerous: a lack of drivers that causes endless waiting at bus stops and crowded subways, worries about a transport plan for the 2024 Olympics in Paris, and the opening of competitions on the bus network in 2025.
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The former head of government promised during the hearings in the National Assembly and the Senate that he would like to return to the basics of the RATP. “The main business is to meet user expectations,” he argued, promising to increase the presence of people in contact with travelers. The new head of Régie also wants to focus on the Île-de-France region and not on the subsidiaries, which have developed strongly outside the Île-de-France and abroad in recent years.
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Jean Castex has promised to start salary talks as soon as he arrives to restore calm to the teams. The strike markedly paralyzed the metro on November 10 last year, and slow strikes are seriously disrupting the bus network, as well as RER and metro repair shops.
“Mission of a Lifetime” for Luc Remon
At the head of the EDF, Luc Remont will be the general director of nationalization. The Financial Markets Authority (AMF) on Tuesday gave the green light to a plan to take over energy company EDF, launched in early October by the French state, which already owns 84% of the company’s capital. EDF is in financial difficulty due to a record decline in electricity production, which is a consequence of the unavailability of part of its nuclear fleet due to corrosion problems, scheduled maintenance and public traffic, as well as a tariff shield that protects the French from excessive price increases for energy.
Luc Remont has replaced 67-year-old Jean-Bernard Levy at the helm of EDF since 2014, who is leaving before the age limit. His early retirement was announced this summer, at the same time as EDF returned to 100% state-owned companies.
Little known to the general public, Luc Remont has already started working on construction sites waiting for a company that is sometimes compared to a state within a state. “This could be a mission of a lifetime,” he commented during a parliamentary questioning ahead of his October 26 appointment, announcing that he “accepts the principle of a very significant reduction in (his) current salary.” The salary of the CEO of EDF is set by decree at €450,000 gross per year.