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French government opposes payout for ex-Air France CEO
PARIS (Reuters) - France's new Socialist government opposes a 400,000 euros ($ 499,290) indemnity payment for former chief executive of Air France-KLM Pierre-Henri Gourgeon as it seeks to clamp down on executive pay, Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on Tuesday.
A representative of the French state, which holds a 15.9 percent stake in the loss-making Franco-Dutch carrier, will not vote in favor of Gourgeon's payout at a shareholders meeting on Thursday, the minister said in a statement.
"The indemnities and bonuses paid to the former chief executive of Air France-KLM, Pierre-Henri Gourgeon, and approved by the previous government, are not in agreement with the rules of wage moderation and decent behavior announced by the president," the statement said.
The minister said the government would announce measures shortly to govern executive pay. France's new Socialist President, Francois Hollande, who took office this month, has pledged to limit the pay of top executives at publicly controlled companies to 20 times the minimum wage.
Air France-KLM shares are down around 12 percent this year after erasing 71 percent last year, giving it a market value of around 1 billion euros ($1.25 billion).
The Franco-Dutch airline wants to shed 2 billion euros of both debt and operating costs over three years by cutting fleet and staff spending as it wrestles with tough competition and soaring fuel costs.
(Reporting By Daniel Flynn; and Andre Grenon)
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