ally criticizes French over Alstom deal
Send a link to a friend
[June 23, 2014]
BERLIN (Reuters) - A
conservative ally of Chancellor Angela Merkel accused
France on Monday of showing "ice-cold" national
interests in choosing GE over Siemens for an alliance
with Alstom, and also questioned whether Paris had the
fiscal leeway to buy a large stake in the French firm.
France on Friday rejected an offer from Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy
Industries <7011.T> for Alstom's energy arm, instead choosing U.S.
firm General Electric.
In announcing its choice, Paris made additional demands on the U.S.
conglomerate and announced it would buy a 20 percent stake in the
French maker of turbines and high-speed trains.
Peter Ramsauer, chairman of the German parliament's economics
committee and a member of the Christian Social Union (CSU), the
Bavarian sister party to Merkel's conservatives, said France had put
national interests over European interests.
"The French government has a different philosophy," Ramsauer told
German radio station Deutschlandfunk on Monday.
"It acts with ice-cold national industrial interest, and the French
government has clearly put its own national interests, one-sided
French concerns, ahead of European interests."
He added however, that he would have liked to see the German
government provide the same support to Siemens that the French did
for Alstom. Siemens is based in Bavaria, the state where Ramsauer's
Ramsauer, a former transport minister, criticized France for
announcing plans to buy a 20 percent stake in Alstom despite its
heavy debts and budget deficit.
[to top of second column]
The purchase, likely to cost a couple billion euros, would be made
by the French agency that manages government share holdings is not
expected to affect French deficit calculations.
"On the one side, France is on the brink in terms of its
indebtedness, but on the other side seems able to afford to buy a 20
percent stake in Alstom."
(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Noah Barkin)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be
published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.