PARIS, July 10 France has received EU backing
for a new decree allowing the government to block foreign
takeovers of French companies in strategic industries, Economy
Minister Arnaud Montebourg said on Thursday.
In a surprise move, the government widened in May its
control over mergers in industries deemed key to France's
national interests as General Electric was seeking to buy
the energy assets of French group Alstom.
"The European Commission in recent days notified the French
government of its approval of the decree as perfectly in line
with European treaties," Montebourg said in a speech.
"It was used in the General Electric-Alstom case. It will be
used again in certain sensitive sectors such as water, health,
national defence, gaming, transport, energy and
telecommunications," he added.
(Reporting by Ingrid Melander; writing by Leigh Thomas; Editing
by Maya Nikolaeva)