Georges-Louis Bouchez, the president of MR (mouvement réformateur), was Antonio Solimando's guest on Bel RTL this Wednesday, January 11. The opportunity for him to recall that the nuclear agreement concluded on Monday is a liberal achievement.
The MR welcomes the agreement reached on Monday between the federal government and Engie. “We were told that nuclear power was dead, that it was a technology of the past and only MR wanted this extension. Eventually it happens. So as of today, the administrative and technical procedures that will allow this extension begin."
But Georges-Louis Bouchez is aware of the fact that; there remains a problem for the winter of 2025. “We are proposing to extend three other reactors for a shorter period. Monday's deal is just a first step. Now that we have a framework for the long term, it is then entirely possible to enter into other procedures. So it's not the end of the story, far from it, but we really went through a decisive phase, as we asked."
Georges-Louis Bouchez recalls that MR is isolated in this file: “We had been asking for this extension for two years, but within the government, the socialists and environmentalists did not want it. Besides, I was very happy to hear them yesterday because we almost had the impression that it was thanks to them that we were extending nuclear power. On the MR side, I remind you that, under the government of Charles Michel, we have already voted for an initial 10-year extension, because normally the 2003 law put an end to nuclear power in 2015. And since I have been President of the MR, not once have I said that I am not in favor of nuclear”.
In the long term, MR is also in favor of the repeal of the 2003 law on the exit from nuclear power. “We must indeed repeal the 2003 law, at the latest during government negotiations in 2024. If we can do it before, it is better. The problem today is that we are going to invest 100 million euros in the nuclear power of the future. But how to find a private partner who would come and invest in a technology if he knows that the law puts an end to this technology at the latest in 10 years? That does not make any sense. What has enabled and led to the extension of nuclear power today will remain in the future: energy independence on a geostrategic level (that is to say, not depending on Qatar and Russia), the reduction of emissions of CO2 and cost control."
Georges-Louis Bouchez also reassures taxpayers: they will not pay for this extension. "It's an unsubstantiated rumour. There will be no taxes. These reactors will be self-financing thanks to the production of electricity. On the other hand, the State will have stakes in these reactors because it is a strategic issue”.
MR and Ecolo have been in regular confrontation since the beginning of the legislature, which does not prevent Georges-Louis Bouchez from having respect for this party. “Ecolo, when it was created, really brought a breath of fresh air. I also respect all the green representatives. It is essential in a democracy to have different projects that can confront each other. In the end, it is the voter who makes their choice. But Ecolo also makes mistakes. The traffic plan in Brussels, for example, is a failure. The MR wants it withdrawn because this plan creates discomfort, increases traffic jams and does not improve the quality of life. We see the tensions in a whole series of neighborhoods. Our objective is to renegotiate the project with all the parties in order to have a new mobility and parking plan in Brussels”.