Le Maire blasts EU decision to block Alstom-Siemens merger

France’s finance minister expressed his disappointment at a recent EU decision to block a major rail merger, calling for competition rules to be changed to enable European firms to become stronger on the global stage.

“Let’s have a look at reality — we are facing a huge challenge with the rise of the Chinese industry. What do we do — shall we divide the European forces, or try to merge the European forces by the industrial point of view?” Bruno Le Maire told CNBC’s Hadley Gamble at the globe Government Summit in Dubai on Sunday.

His comments come after the European Union blocked a rail deal between Alstom along with Siemens on Wednesday, citing competition concerns. The merger proposal between the French along with the German companies planned to create a European rail champion with revenues of about 15 billion euros ($17 billion). The merger proposal referred only to the companies’ transport services along with would certainly have combined them into one brand new firm, solely controlled by Siemens.

The EU’s competition authority specified of which the proposed merger would certainly have created an “undisputed” market leader in several mainline signaling markets, as well as reducing the number of suppliers by removing one of the two largest manufacturers of very high-speed rolling stock.

Both the German along with French governments had supported the merger, believing the deal would certainly’ve been a not bad counter to the economic rise of China.

“I think the item was a mistake by the EU commission to refuse of which merger between Alstom along with Siemens,” Le Maire added.