French parliament adopts airport privatization proposals

Credit: Reuters Studio
Published on April 11, 2019 - Duration: 01:44s

French parliament adopts airport privatization proposals

French lawmakers adopted on Thursday a government bill aimed at kickstarting a wave of privatizations, including a sale of the state’s stake in airports group ADP, to raise cash for a new innovation fund.

Pascale Davies reports.


French parliament adopts airport privatization proposals

It's one of France's crown jewels but attempts to privatize Paris's main airports have been met with controversy.

French lawmakers adopted a bill to kickstart a wave of privatizations including the sale of the state's 50.6 percent stake in airports group ADP.

Its share is worth around 8.8 billion euros - nearly $10 billion.

The Assemblee Nationale, where President Emmanuel Macron's centrist LREM party has a commanding majority - voted in favor of legislation on Thursday (April 11).

The new law is part of a broader strategy to raise cash to boost the economy and finance technological innovations.

But it does have its critics - who have tried to launch a referendum on the issue.

(SOUNDBITE) (French) FAR-LEFT "FRANCE UNBOWED" MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT, ERIC COQUEREL, SAYING: "You have but one hope now and that is for the Constitutional Council to reject it because you know that we will get the 4.5 million signatures in three months to contest this wrongdoing you are preparing to carry out against the country." Opponents to the sale say it could result in job losses and others are wary of handing control of the strategic asset to the private sector.

But Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said the bill would help the economy, and that the government wanted to make ADP a "world champion" in airport traffic.

Le Maire said last year that France would block any moves by a foreign power to gain control of ADP.

Macron's government has consistently said it aims to start the ADP privatization process this year

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