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Business

Schröder Reportedly Worried by "Nationalist" French Industrial Policy


German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder has reportedly voiced concern that France's current industrial policy is undermining the Franco-German relationship. German business daily Financial Times Deutschland reported on Monday that Chancellor Schröder is worried by the "extremely nationalistic" industry policy carried out by French Finance Minister Nicolas Sarkozy. The paper said the chancellor finds it "annoying" that Sarkozy refused to allow German engineering giant Siemens to participate in the takeover of daughter companies of ailing French engineering company, Alstom. In an interview with French daily Le Figaro published on Saturday, Schröder said, "Regarding Almstom, I discover sometimes -- not by the (French) president -- but among members of the government, certain statements that merit reconsideration." According to German government circles Schröder is clear that the criticism doesn't apply to the whole of the French government or to President Jacques Chirac. "Everyone can understand that a finance minister is thinking about the next election, but it is a good idea to think about the day after the vote too," Schröder said in the interview.