No to the Rise in EDF’s Public Tariffs that Further Aggravate the Peoples’ Impoverishment.

Urgent Appeal

The undersigned organizations, the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH) and its affiliate leagues in Argentina (CAJ) as well as in France (LDH):

- Express in the gravest of tones their disapproval following the recourse taken by the French public company, ELECTRICITE DE FRANCE (EDF), with the International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes, the mediation body dependent on the World Bank, to receive compensation for damages allegedly suffered after the Argentinean government refused to increase tariffs for EDF’s Argentinean subsidiary.

- Recall that any rise in electricity tariffs within Argentina will inevitably aggravate the peoples’ dire situation as they face a tragic economic and financial crisis (see the FIDH’s July 2002 International Investigative Mission Report entitled, "Argentine : un peuple sinistré, une politique criminelle, des responsabilités multiples").

- Insist upon the totally illegitimate and unjust nature of the claim filed by EDF’s company given the staggering profits it made in Argentina over the years between 1990 and 2000 that were majoritarily repatriated to France for the principal benefit of the French State, which has contributed along with other foreign companies to the current crisis situation in Argentina.

- Consider that the French State must fulfill the minimal requirement of international solidarity as a major shareholder in EDP by not demanding that the Argentinean government raise electricity tariffs; they invite the French Minister of Finance, Mr. Francis Mer, upon his visit in Argentina on 25 and 26 July 2003, to negotiate this issue with the Argentinean government so that a solution can be found that respects the minimum economic and social rights of the Argentinean people.

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