Economy Minister Bruno the Mayor on Thursday ruled out "liquidating the participation of the French state" within Air France-KLM, in response to statements by the new boss of the company Ben Smith who advanced the opposite.
"This is not part of the roadmap Ben Smith, liquidate the participation of the French state in Air France," said the Mayor on France Info.
"The state would be a bad manager if it started to sell its stakes in a company that is not in the best of shape," he said, indicating that his priority was "the recovery" of the company.
Thursday, in the Financial Times, the new CEO of Air France-KLM had indicated that the state was ready to sell its 14% stake in the company.
"It's very expensive to bail out an airline," Smith said, adding that there are "many other areas where the government needs to spend money."
Mr. Smith, who took office in mid-September, comes to the head of the company in a tense situation after months of fruitless dialogue between the former management and the inter-union on wages.
Ben Smith will receive the inter-union October 1 to try to find a solution to the conflict.
"We will find together the way to reach an agreement, even if it takes a year," said Smith in an interview at Paris Match, published Thursday, warning that "the time spent in quarreling internal is time lost to fight our competitors.
The new director general also warned in the weekly that "if the French state wants a powerful industry with positive spin-offs, especially on job creation, it must help our sector to compete" with its competitors, including companies Gulf as Emirates which, he recalled, received a "massive support" from the authorities of the UAE.
"We have to make it clear that any decision, tax credit or tax cut, for example, will benefit the entire country, which is essential to hope to compete with companies like Emirates," he added.
Fifteen days of strike between February 22 and May 8 cost the company 335 million euros.
The move was suspended in May after the resignation of Air France-KLM CEO Jean-Marc Janaillac, disavowed by staff during a consultation on a wage agreement launched at his initiative.
27/09/2018 10:53:31 –
Paris (AFP) –
© 2018 AFP