The French parliament has given preliminary approval to a bill allowing the partial privatization of state-owned power companies, despite weeks of protests by utility workers.
Tuesday's vote is the first of two necessary for final approval of the measure. The European Union requires France to open its utilities to privatization, but many workers are against it because they fear losing their jobs or retirement benefits.
Under the plan, France will maintain ownership of 70 percent of the utilities.
Its a start.