BERLIN, June 23 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 U.S. firm General Electric.
In announcing its choice, Paris made additional demands on
the U.S. 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."
(Reporting by Alexandra Hudson; Editing by Noah Barkin)