Merkel ally criticises French over Alstom deal

Comment on this story

Berlin - 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 for Alstom's energy arm, instead choosing US firm General Electric.

In announcing its choice, Paris made additional demands on the US 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, criticised France for announcing plans to buy a 20 percent stake in Alstom despite its heavy debts and budget deficit.

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.” - Reuters

sign up

Comment Guidelines

  1. Please read our comment guidelines.
  2. Login and register, if you haven’ t already.
  3. Write your comment in the block below and click (Post As)
  4. Has a comment offended you? Hover your mouse over the comment and wait until a small triangle appears on the right-hand side. Click triangle () and select "Flag as inappropriate". Our moderators will take action if need be.

  5. Verified email addresses: All users on Independent Media news sites are now required to have a verified email address before being allowed to comment on articles. You are only required to verify your email address once to have full access to commenting on articles. For more information please read our comment guidelines