Today, I summarize the main problematic of the article in French for the foreign readers.
Pierre Jullien is a French journalist. He regularly works for Le Monde and writes articles for Timbres magazine. He has a passion for the philately and the places of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands.
Yesterday, due to comments about the 240 and more stamp issue next April 2009 in France, he posted a call to "save private Phil@poste".
To the readers not used to the French postal system. During these 2000s, La Poste group was reorganized into services. Phil@poste is in charge of philatelic productions. The post office service is in charge of the profitability of post offices and accessibility of postal services every where. The mail service operates the sorting and distributing of the mail.
It seems that the philatelic inflation by Phil@poste in search of new clients and non used on mail stamp collectors is caused by the mail service.
Explanation: the services are now independent and are selling their services to one another. Post offices now sold DVD movie sponsored by La Poste, books, postcards, etc. because part of the income get to Phil@poste for payment of the postage stamp production and to the mail service for operation of the main postal service.
But, when Phil@poste lose part of its income to the post offices when they sale themselves the stamps. That's why it operated its own webshop and personalised overpriced stamp service: that is money that won't leave Phil@poste's pockets.
But, when used on mail, Phil@poste has to give its part to the mail service. Conclusion: Phil@poste needs collectors or one-time stamp buyers to keep unused the stamps they get. By Pierre Jullien, that is the story behing the 240 stamp issue with a pre-personalised 23 eurocent premium on each stamp.
Second explanation: the mail service has been operating since December 2008 a philatelic service on the web. Montimbrenligne permits the sender to order and print directly a postage mark on a cover or a sticker.
No queuing at a post office for the sender. No money to give back to the post office and the philatelic services for the mail service.
Worse case scenario for Phil@poste: senders massivelly adopts the Mail service's franking system. I can imagine this service would compete for the philatelic program decided by the government. The Mail service proposed 200 designs to illustrate your postage mark: simple pictures, nothing artistic. But, since everything is on the web, commemorative or temporary illustrations could be proposed, designed by the same reknown artists as postage stamps or new ones looking for occasion.
And, in the "green" communicating era we are living, these service is in the good spot: the final user pays everything that is needed for its satisfaction because he is using its own paper and its own ink. Contrary to postage stamp use for which the cost of production is not paid by the sender, but by Phil@poste.
And the mail service don't have to care about running a printing plant or please collectors.
I advice you to follow how philatelic services are operating in country where the postal operator splitted its services.