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Europe

France Calls on EU to Support 'Industrial Champions'

Chirac wants the bloc to offer more help to European industrial leaders in an effort to make the EU more competitive internationally.

French President Jacques Chirac called on the European Union to support the creation of industrial champions Friday. "Let's have a European competition policy that truly takes into account the realities of international competition," the president said in a speech to France's top diplomats. "Let's strongly support the creation of European industrial champions. We have all the assets and all the talent that we need to succeed." Chirac's words come just two months before a new competition commissioner will take over in the EU. The current commissioner, Mario Monti, has had several clashes with Paris -- particularly over illegal state aid to firms. Neelie Kroes from the Netherlands, who will take on the competition portfolio on Nov. 1, is known for being close to the business community. (EUobserver.com)

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