French politics trump business over Alstom

World News: . []

The logo of French power and transport engineering company Alstom is pictured on the roof of the company's plant in ReichshoffenBy Mark John and Jean-Baptiste Vey PARIS (Reuters) - There was dual cause for back-slapping in President Francois Hollande's Elysee Palace late on Friday night. France had thrashed Switzerland in the soccer World Cup, so largely assuring its place in the next round. "France has shown it can negotiate cleverly and openly with multinationals," an official close to Hollande said of the decision announced hours earlier defining the shape of a planned tie-up between Alstom and U.S. conglomerate General Electric. "France's international image was at stake ... We have shown we can stand up for our sovereign interests, as other countries do," said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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