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France to nationalize shipyard after dispute with Italy

Staff Writer |
France will temporarily nationalize the STX France shipyard, the country's strategic shipyard that produces aircraft carriers and warships, following a dispute with Italy over ownership, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire announced.

"We have taken the decision to exercise the state's right of pre-emption on STX," the minister said.

"The shipyard is not destined to remain under state control. The pre-emption decision is temporary and should give us the time to negotiate in the best conditions," he added.

Divergence appears between Paris and Rome over STX France capital split after Italian officials refused French proposal of 50-50 stake.

In May, Fincantieri, Italian state-run shipbuilder, proposed 79.5 million euros (92.83 million U.S. dollars) to seize for two-thirds of STX France, which is offered for sale following the collapse of its South Korea parent, STX.

According to Le Maire, the fifty-fifty capital was "a fair proposal (which) helps preserve the strategic interests of France while associating... Italian friends with French shipbuilding".

"We will continue to negotiate on this basis with our Italian friends in the coming days," he said, adding that he would fly to Italy next week.

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