No return to privatizations, says French finance minister
PARIS - Reuters
This photo shows French Economy Minister Pierre Moscovici speaking during a press conference. AFP photoFrance is not embarking on a wave of privatizations, Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici said on May 6, adding the state was simply looking to re-balance its 62 billion-euro portfolio to help spur growth and jobs.
Prime Minister Jean-Paul Ayrault reaffirmed on May 5 that the state would reduce holdings in certain businesses in which it holds a large stake in order to finance new investments and not to “plug gaps” in the budget.
“This is not a return to privatizations,” Moscovici told iTele.
“This is a fine-tuning of state capital to maintain a strategic state role, to allow for better investment in the future of the country, to relaunch the economy and growth and to address (President) Francois Hollande’s objective of reversing the unemployment trend by the end of the year,” he said.
“It could be a reduction in the level of stake holdings, it could be selling a certain part ... but above all it is keeping a strategic state, a state that invests without making public finances worse,” he said, adding that any funds raised would be reinvested in new growth sectors.
Most recently in March, France sold a 3.12 percent stake in aerospace group Safran to institutional investors, reaping nearly half a billion euros from the sale.