The French General Electric Co. executive thrust into the forefront of the company’s contentious Alstom SA bid is a petite mother of nine with sterling government contacts and a published romantic novel entitled “S’il suffisait d’aimer,” or “If Love was Enough.”
Arnaud Montebourg, the French industry minister who last year addressed a labor conflict by saying the world’s largest steel company was not wanted in France, is laying out the welcome mat for foreign investors.
Edouard Martin was certain he and about 600 workers would keep their jobs at ArcelorMittal’s steel plant in eastern France after President Francois Hollande floated the idea of nationalization to prevent a planned shutdown in late November.
French corporate leaders criticized Socialist President Francois Hollande’s government for policies they say hurt companies already battered by a slowing economy and decades of business-unfriendly practices.
Protests against President Nicolas Sarkozy ’s plan to raise the retirement age eased as a quarter of France’s oil refinery workers agreed to go back to work and garbage collectors ended a 14-day walkout in Marseille.