Just as Alstom was about to sell its energy-related operations to the American conglomerate GE, a counteroffer has come from the German conglomerate Siemens. The news is a great relief to economy minister Arnaud Montebourg because ... well, you know, no French minister likes to see a mismanaged French firm sold off the the Yanks, whereas selling it off to the Boches can be characterized as "a victory for Europe." To skeptics who might be tempted to say that what's at work here is a political as opposed to an economic logic--a political logic that may actually cost more French jobs than it saves, since there are labor redundancies with Siemens' operations that apparently don't exist with GE ... well, that would be a churlish objection to raise at a time when smiles are de rigueur in high Parisian policy circles.
So let's hope for the best in the best of all possible worlds. An Airbus of Energy and an Airbus of Transport! What a fine Franco-German synergy. The hastiness with which this new offer was thrown together suggests that there may be more than a few bumps in the road ahead, especially considering past difficulties in industrial arrangments with Siemens (regarding Areva, for example). But for now, the American wolf has been repelled from the door. Vive la France and cocorico!