Behind Parker And Batum, France Cruises To First European Championship

France Won’t Tax EDF for Energy Shift, Minister Martin Says

The state, an EDF shareholder, will benefit from the amortization of nuclear reactors. Martin was speaking a day after Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault unveiled a plan for nuclear energy to contribute to what the government says will be a shift to more renewables and greater energy efficiency. The prime minister didnt provide details about the levy or how much it would raise. EDFs 58 nuclear reactors generate three-quarters of France s power. It wont be a tax on the company or its clients, Martin said. The nuclear activity of EDF though amortizations that are already over long periods will provide sums that could be used by the state as shareholder that could be used to finance the energy transition. Carole Trivi, an EDF spokeswoman, declined to comment. Hollande vowed during his election campaign to reduce reliance on nuclear to half of total electricity output by about 2025. So far, he has announced plans to shut down EDFs Fessenheim plant in eastern France by the end of 2016. We could do this through more renewables, Martin said yesterday, pushing the question of whether more reactors will be closed to a planned energy law next year. In any case, nuclear will remain at an important level. The energy law will cap nuclear-power capacity and provide the legal means to close reactors, the government has said. Carbon Emissions Ayrault, and Hollande on Sept. 20, also discussed a tax on carbon emissions from fossil fuels such as gasoline, diesel, coal and natural gas that will be neutral next year and generate 2.5 billion euros in 2015 and 4 billion euros in 2016. The tax is one way to raise funds for incentives for home renovations to increase energy efficiency as well as boosting renewables.

France won its first ever European title on Sunday, pulling away from Lithuania in the second quarter and cruising to an 80-66 win. France did it with a lineup that should look pretty familiar to Spurs fans Parker, Boris Diaw , and Nando De Colo . But it was another NBA player who key on Sunday in Serbia. Portlands Nicolas Batum took control in the second quarter when France pulled away with an 18-3 run that led to a 31-12 quarter for France. Batum hit a few threes and finished with a team high 17 points on the night, plus six boards. Lithuania led by three after one quarter mostly thanks to Linas Kleiza but after the run they were down 16 at the half and the entire second half felt was like a coronation for France. The outcome was never really in doubt those final 20 minutes. For past couple weeks of the European championships Parker has been the best player on the court, but in the championship game he was a cold (4-of-14 to start, he hit 2 of his last 3 and finished with 12 points). But the win is all he will care about Parker has been incredibly loyal to the French national team for years and has said a European championship was something he really wanted on his resume. Now he has it. The Raptors Jonas Valanciunas had looked strong through the tournament but he played just 11 minutes in the finals and had no points and three rebounds. He had some foul trouble but not going to him more was an odd coaching choice. Diaw added 15 points and six boards for France. Kleiza had 20 points to lead Lithuania.

France beat Lithuania, win first major title

Thriving on long-range shooting and an effervescent performance by Portland Trailblazers guard Nicholas Batum, the French finally touched the pinnacle after finishing as runners-up in 1949 and 2011. “It’s very emotional as I’ve been chasing this for ten years,” 31-year old Parker, who marshalled his team with the authority of a treble NBA champion, told the France 2 television channel. “We have made history because the first title is always the most beautiful. I received so many messages of support this morning and I didn’t want to disappoint people. The great (semi-final) victory over Spain boosted our confidence for this match.” Although the San Antonio Spurs playmaker at times struggled with mid-range jump shots, he carved out the supply routes with incisive passing, while Batum nailed one perimeter shot after another and forward Boris Diaw did the damage in the paint on both ends of the court. A fired-up Batum, who endured a patchy tournament and averaged only 11 points per game up to the final, found his range and sank 17 in the first half as France turned a 22-19 first-quarter deficit into a 50-34 halftime lead. Forward Linas Kleiza carried the Lithuanians with 16 points early in the game but lack of support from back-court players pegged back the 2003 winners as they also got muscled off the boards by an athletic French outfit who picked up 17 rebounds more than their rivals. France built a 76-56 lead with three minutes left and set the tone for celebrations in the Stozice Arena, with Parker netting a pair of audacious lay-ups in the closing stages to put the icing on the cake and throw the French fans into raptures. He finished the game with 12 points, Diaw chipped in with 15 and six rebounds while Batum could take the foot off the gas pedal as the rest of the French team joined the party, with 10 of their 12 players getting on the scoresheet. “What we’ve just done is amazing,” Batum, who finished with 17 points and six rebounds, said in a courtside interview. “We fought, we never gave up. French basketball needed that and it’s pure rapture.” Diaw added: “This is what we managed to achieve after a decade of building and hard work. We never doubted our ability and always had the confidence we could go all the way.” Earlier on Sunday, 2011 winners Spain, who will host next year’s World Cup, strolled to the bronze medal with a 92-66 rout of Croatia. (Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic in Belgrade; Editing by Rex Gowar)

France win European title

France win first European title

“It’s great for French basketball, for the former players, my family, friends. This is for all of France, for all sport,” gushed Parker. “It’s incredible to be the first French team to win the title.” It was a huge relief for France who had failed to take the title after 13 previous top-four finishes didn’t produce a crown. Lithuania were hoping to finally claim a fourth European crown after titles in 1937, 1939 and 2003. But the Baltic side will have to be happy with a second silver after 1995. Linas Kleiza tallied 20 points while Mantas Kalnietis scored 19 for Lithuania. Batum scored 10 points in the second quarter and led the decisive 21-3 French run to close the first half — effectively taking control of the game with a 50-34 lead at half-time. Lithuania were able to cut the deficit to 14 points early in the third quarter and late in the fourth, but France would not allow them any closer. The French dethroned two-time reigning champions Spain in the semi-finals, but the Spanish bounced back to take the bronze medal by knocking off Croatia 92-66. Sergio Llull scored 21 points while Marc Gasol collected 17 points, eight rebounds and two assists and Victor Claver totalled 16 points. “We were very disappointed about losing the semi-final against France. Our goal was to take a medal from this tournament.