Los franceses se enfadan con el recorte del UKCG

No ha sentado bien en Francia la retirada de los ETV (remolcadores) por parte de los ingleses en el Canal de la Mancha, el gobierno frances ha protestado enérgicamente y por escrito a su homologo británico, este último ha respondido a una pregunta parlamentaria indicando que la correspondencia no es pública pero que el tono no era favorable. Los franceses indican que les están haciendo juego sucio al confiar la seguridad del Canal solo en sus medios de salvamento, aunque posteriormente les paguen su uso.

El caso es que todo el gasto que lleva su mantenimiento y funcionamiento corre por cuenta del Estado Francés mientras los ingleses privatizan y ahorran recortando en seguridad marítima, por su parte, el Ministro de Transportes (Fomento) ingles, dice que tener remolcadores estatales no es un buen uso de los impuestos, que los salvamentos son un asunto comercial entre el que está en peligro y su salvador.

Lo cual puede ser cierto, siempre que la cosa no se complique y haya negocio, no hace falta recordar las empresas de salvamento no son ONGs como el FROB. Una vez que el barco se va a las piedras, habrá que reclamante al maestro armero, pero igual eso le corresponde al Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y con un poco de Mr. Proper… es otro el que hace el gasto.

France blasts UK for withdrawal of Channel ETVs

Representations made to Department for Transport

David Osler – 28 November 2011 Lloyds List

The French government has protested against the UK’s decision to withdraw provision of publicly funded emergency towing vessel services in the Channel as part of its drive to bring down public spending.

Shipping minister Mike Penning, in reply to a written question from Labour transport spokeswoman Maria Eagle, admitted that representation over the issue had been made at both ministerial and official level.

A representative of the Department for Transport said that copies of the relevant correspondence were not available to the public, but conceded that they had not been favourable in tone. Ms Eagle’s office did not return an email seeking comment.

Mr Penning told Ms Eagle that the French transport minister had written to his UK counterpart, and that DfT officials have met both the French defence attaché to the UK and the French permanent representatives to the International Maritime Organization in London to discuss the question. There have also been discussions at two Anglo-French maritime safety working groups.

Meanwhile, a French Euro MP has strongly attacked the cost-cutting measure, claiming that the UK is now free riding on French safety provision. Under the new arrangements, Britain will pay for the use of French services in an emergency rather than maintain tugs separately.

MEP Estelle Grelier, who represents northwest France, argued: “It is unfair for the British government to expect their work to now be financed by the French national budget. Privatising the UK coastguard service clearly undermines its efficiency.”

But the DfT insisted: “We do not believe this towing service represents a correct use of taxpayers’ money, and that ship salvage should be a commercial matter between a ship’s operator and the salvor.”

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