Sponsored by: Investment Center

Something new in your business?  Click here to submit your business press release

Chamber Corner | Main Street News | Job Hunt | Classifieds | Calendar | Illinois Lottery 

Merkel ally criticizes French over Alstom deal

Send a link to a friend  Share

[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 CSU governs.

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 reserved.]

Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

< Recent articles

Back to top