In France, the Prime Minister Monsieur Raymond Barre, has announced drastic new economy measures in order to reduce the country's bill for oil imports.
GV Cars along motorway near Paris, France (2 shots)
SV Overhead power cables
GV INTERIOR French Prime Minister, Raymond Barre, speaking
SV Newspeople listening (4 shots)
SCU ZOOM OUT TO GV Barre speaking
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Background: In France, the Prime Minister Monsieur Raymond Barre, has announced drastic new economy measures in order to reduce the country's bill for oil imports.
SYNOPSIS: They include stricter enforcement of speed limits on roads and restrictions on the heating of public buildings. Rumours circulated in France about the possibility of petrol rationing, but this did not materialise -- but the motor vehicle tax has been increased.
At a news conference in Paris on Wednesday (22 December) Monsieur Barre gave details of the government plans.
CUE AT 20 FEET/32 seconds He explained that the measures had been designed to keep France's foreign exchange oil bill during 1977 down to 55 thousand million fr. (GBP 7,000 Mil.sterl. In addition to the speed restrictions and heating regulations, Monsieur Barre also said that better methods of thermal insulation should be adopted and maintained. New controls on the use of energy in industry will be introduced, with emphasis on the use of coal rather than oil wherever possible.
CUE AT 43 FEET/1 min 09 secs Monsieur Barre said that he did not wish to "make French people suffer for the sake of doing so" but that the country's balance of trade deficit was largely due to dearer oil imports.
The economy measures are expected to save 1.2 million francs (GBP 150,000 sterling) on domestic fuel consumption and nearly three million tons of heavy fuel used by the state gas and electricity authorities.
But the Ministry of Foreign Trade estimates that it will be necessary to save about ten million tons of oil to keep within the price ceiling and most observers in Paris believe that even tougher measures are on the way. The Prime Minister expressed the wish that Frenchmen should consider 1977 with what he called "lucidity and determination." He said that he was convinced that once the shock had passed the people would appreciate that they alone could order their destiny. "Nothing," he said, "is more political today than the economy."