For many people this year, Christmas is a little gloomy. The Arab oil cuts have?
GV Champs Elysee with people shopping
SV Child looks into window at toys
SV Toys in window with little boy looking through window
SV PAN Toys in window
SV Children looking through window at displays (3 shots)
GV ZOOM TO Lights in shopping area and clown in window
GV Lights NIGHT on Louvre, Samaritaine and Galeries Lafayette department stores (3 shots)
GV Lights across street
SV Illuminated sleigh and Father Christmas (2 shots)
Initials BB/2207 NC/AW/BB/2228
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Background: For many people this year, Christmas is a little gloomy. The Arab oil cuts have affected travel, industry, foodstuffs and lighting. Many Governments have introduced electricity cute, because their power plants are fuelled with oil products. The French Government is no exception....electric heating has been reduced in many homes and offices.
But France is luckier than some -- "mazout", or fuel oil, powers only 40 per cent of the country's electricity depots. Water supplies 30 per cent, coal and gas 20 per cent, and nuclear power fuels the other ten per cent.
French Electricity, the EDF, is optimistic about future fuel stocks. This optimism is reflected in the streets of Paris. The Champs Elysee literally beams in the night. Disregarding the world crisis, the French shopkeepers have decorated their display windows with exaggerated care, and the big department stores, including the Samaritaine and the Galleries Lafayette, are illuminated as they've been in more carefree days.
Darker days may be ahead -- voluntary speed limits have been set, cuts in street lighting are mooted, and it's believed that petrol coupons have already been printed for distribution.