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France was 'too provincial' over failed Fiat-Renault merger: Italian union

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France was 'too provincial' over failed Fiat-Renault merger: Italian union
Fiats on the assembly line in Melfi, northern Italy. Photo: Donato Fasano/AFP
14:10 CEST+02:00
Italian-American carmaker Fiat Chrysler's withdrawal of its proposed blockbuster merger with France's Renault shows that political interference can be harmful, Italian Deputy Prime Minister Luigi Di Maio said on Thursday.

"When politics tries to intervene in economic procedures, they don't always behave correctly, I don't want to say any more," Di Maio, who is also minister for economic development, told Italian radio.

Fiat Chrysler (FCA) had stunned the markets last week by proposing a "merger of equals" with the French group that would create an auto giant spanning the globe.

The plan was welcomed by analysts as one of the few deals in the auto sector that might prove a success, but FCA said on Thursday that "the political conditions in France do not currently exist" for the deal to go through.

REDA ALSO: Renault shares plunge as Fiat merger talks fail

The French government, which controls 15 percent of Renault, had given the deal a conditional green light but also warned against "haste".

Union leaders were among those in Italy who accused France of "provincialism", although the precise reasons for the deal's collapse remained unclear.

"France has shown that it doesn't understand the importance of this operation for Europe," said Annamaria Furlan, the head of Italy's second-largest union federation CISL. "I think that France has been too provincial."

Shares in Renault, whose longstanding alliance with Japan's Nissan has been troubled recently, plunged by almost seven percent in early trades in Paris. 

 
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