February 27, 2020 / 7:33 PM / in a month

Italian PM Conte says EU should look at competition rules to build European champions

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and French President Emmanuel Macron (not pictured) hold a joint news conference during a one day Italo-Franco summit in Naples, Italy February 27, 2020. REUTERS/Ciro De Luca

MILAN (Reuters) - Italian prime Minister Giuseppe Conte called on Thursday for a rethink of European competition rules that he said could stand in the way of creating European champions capable of competing in global markets in sectors including automobiles.

Conte said Europe needed to step up collaboration to develop new strategic sectors and boost champions in areas like the auto sector, where Italy’s Fiat Chryselr (FCHA.MI) and France’s PSA Group (PEUP.PA) are preparing to merge.

“We want to grow our European champions, I’m thinking of projects in the automobile sector,” Conte said at a joint news conference with French President Emmanuel Macron in Naples, adding that competition rules should be looked at.

“They were rules developed for the single market but in some case they are evidently not all rules for competing in a global market,” he said.

Reporting by James Mackenzie, editing by Valentina Za

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