Big demonstration against Macron’s nuclear policy in Aachen

Demonstrators in Aachen, Germany today against nuclear plants, Reuters photo

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

Dutch protest in Aachen against nuclear power plants and Macron

About 1500 protesters, some of them Dutch, demonstrated this afternoon in Aachen [in Germany] against the French president Macron and the Doel and Tihange nuclear power stations in Belgium.

The protest was against the French support for the nuclear power plants. The Doel and Tihange power plants, both close to the Dutch border, are owned by the French state for more than 25%.

Especially the Tihange 2 and Doel 3 power stations regularly have problems with cracks and other problems. The campaigners called on the president to shut down the power stations for ever.


President Macron was in Aachen to receive the Charlemagne prize. This annual award is for people and organizations that are committed to European unity.

During the award ceremony, the protesters made noise and shouted slogans.


Big Tobacco influencing governments’ tobacco policy

This 2017 video says about itself:

3 June 2017

Smoking kills. So if you’re in an industry where your product is damaging the health of people who buy it and they know it, then you should in theory go out of business. But shares in companies listed in the Bloomberg tobacco producers index have risen 351% since 2009, making it one of the best investments of the past decade.

Graphic warning labels and taxes seem to have some impact on reducing the number of smokers but less so on industry profits which keep rising. And investors can’t quit buying the stocks because operating profits continue to go up.

Different tax regimes around the world mostly account for the difference in price. But governments are not as hooked as the consumers who buy cigarettes. Consumers cough up for higher prices because they crave the drug in tobacco – nicotine. Without nicotine, addiction there would be no tobacco industry.

Translated from Dutch NOS TV today:

How the tobacco industry ‘extends its tentacles all over the government

Marc Willemsen, professor … at the University of Maastricht names, eg, an employers’ organization such as VNO-NCW [the biggest bosses’ organisation speaking for many types of industries]. “It represents strongly the interests of the tobacco industry.” …

That lobbying is done at national politics in The Hague, but also at European Union level. An internal document of Philip Morris mentioned about hundreds of MEPs which lobbying techniques they were sensitive to, revealed TV program Radar Extra in December 2017.

Tobacco giants such as Philip Morris also make funds available for research.