French minister Arnaud Montebourg claims Brussels backing for new takeover laws

The decree to block takeovers has clouded General Electric's bid for French firm Astom
Arnaud Montebourg, France’s economy minister, said yesterday that the country had won the approval of the European Commission for a controversial law which gives the government more power to block takeovers.

Montebourg told a French conference that the EU had given the country the green light on a decree passed in May. The ruling allows the government to block takeovers of French companies in sectors that it deems strategic.

Yesterday, the radical minister added that other future takeovers could be blocked in a range of sectors, including transport, defence, health and a range of public utilities.

The speech also contained sections which were critical of Eurozone economy policy, saying that it was inevitable that the European Central Bank (ECB) would eventually opt for some kind of quantitative easing programme to counteract deflationary pressure.

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