Arnaud Montebourg, France’s Industry Minister and a leader in the ruling Socialist party, made headlines last week when he said that the Indian steel company ArcelorMittal should leave the country after it said it would have to close down one of its factories.
Now he’s defending his government’s decision to nationalize said factory, noting that it’s just the sort of thing U.S. President Barack Obama would do:
“Barack Obama’s nationalized. The Germans are nationalizing. All countries are nationalizing. I’ve also noticed the British nationalized 6 banks,” Montebourg told CNBC.
By referring to President Obama and “nationalizing,” the French politician is most likely referring to the bailout of the U.S. auto industry.
Unsurprisingly, the move by France’s ruling Socialist party has reminded many of the nationalization moment on the 1980s.
“It’s a very good sign to send out (to investors),” said Montebourg, nearly scoffing at the comparison to the 1980s. “Nationalizing is a very modern step to take. Especially when you not only nationalize losses but profits as well, when you make public/private partnerships. This is our strategy.”
“The strategy we’re putting forward is extremely modern and adapted to the current times of crisis. It’s a way of making the economy work in the interests of industry, more than just helping the financial sector,” he added.
Oddly enough, Montebourg didn’t have a comment when asked about Mayor of London Boris Johnson earlier this week inviting Indian businessmen to flee France for England.
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