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France calls for economic patriotism
www.chinaview.cn 2006-02-01 06:55:58

    PARIS, Jan. 31 (Xinhuanet) -- French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin on Tuesday called on the country's companies to reorganize to protect key industries from foreign predators.

    "Economic patriotism is the mobilization of all the participants, of all those concerned, the shareholders but also the company bosses," Villepin told France 2 television.

    "Think about the structure of your capital, it should be sufficiently organized to resist attacks," he said, addressing company directors and adding that "the state can help in this movement."

    Villepin's comments came after the governments of France, Spainand Luxembourg lined up to resist the 18.6-billion-euro (22.7-billion-dollar) hostile takeover bid launched Friday by the world's first steel producer Mittal Steel Company for the world's second biggest steel group Arcelor.

    At the request of French President Jacques Chirac "to strengthen the protection plan" for the country's strategic industries, the French government had made by the end of August a list of "strategic" industries where it could block any hostile foreign takeover bid.

    The list, which became official at the end of December, covers such industries as casinos, private security firms, the development and production of antidotes, equipment for intercepting communications, computer security systems and some dual civil-military technology and cryptology activities, but not metallurgy nor agribusiness.

    The European Commission last week qualified the list as "protectionist" and "discriminatory". Enditem

    

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