Corporate: EDF's Precarious Position

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Last week's move by the French government to force EDF to sell more nuclear output at well below current market prices, combined with news of prolonged outages for five EDF reactors, prompted one of the big three credit rating firms to downgrade the state-owned utility. The other two ratings agencies placed EDF on review for a downgrade. The government mandate, which came on the heels of soaring gas and electricity prices, also prompted a joint statement from the four unions representing EDF's workforce, accusing the government of "looting" EDF "on the altar of political considerations."

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