Italy leads the birth of a European shipbuilding champion

EDWARD BOONE

The cruise ship 'Harmony of the Seas' leaves the port of St. Nazaire, France, 15 May 2016. The Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ship built at the STX France shipyards in Saint-Nazaire is the world's largest cruise ship. It will dock in Southampton, Britain, before starting her first cruise in the coming days.

Italy leads the birth of a European shipbuilding champion


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The Emmanuel Macron administration is reaching a compromise with Rome over dominance in the shipbuilding industry, ANSA reported on Thursday.

In July France announced plans to temporarily nationalize its Saint-Nazaire STX shipyards to prevent their takeover from the Italian state-controlled Fincantieri. At the time, Italy’s finance and economic development ministers, Pier Carlo Padoan and Carlo Calenda, made clear that “nationalism and protectionism are not an acceptable basis for establishing relations between two great European countries.”

On Wednesday, the French government allowed Fincantieri to take over the French shipyard STX in a 50-50% deal, with the understanding that a 1% majority stake will be a 12-year loan of the French government to the Italian company.

The deal was signed by French President Emmanuel Macron and Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni in Lyon, France, on Thursday 28 September. The agreement comes with job guarantees, AFP reported.

The French STX shipyards are big enough to construct an aircraft carrier, although it is more famous for building giant ocean liners like the Queen Mary 2.

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