Agnès Pannier-Runacher: "The boss of Nokia has made new proposals" – Le Télégramme

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The Minister for Industry, Agnès Pannier-Runacher, defends the industrial component of the recovery plan, investments in future technologies and relocations. On the Nokia case, it is negotiating with the group to maintain the French center of excellence.

How much of the $ 100 billion in the recovery plan will be spent on investing in the industry of tomorrow?

35 billion euros in credits were made available for industry. With massive investments to support its decarbonisation, for green hydrogen and the creation of the green planes and vehicles of tomorrow. Lowering production taxes will improve the competitiveness of companies that produce in France. And we will mobilize 1 billion euros to relocate in particular five critical sectors (health, food, electronics, essential inputs for industry and 5G applications).

Why limit this envelope to 1 billion, when there are many strategic sectors?

It is, in fact, a considerable amount. Because they are subsidies: they will have a strong leverage effect, via either the company's equity or borrowing. In total, they will generate between 5 and 10 billion euros in additional investments.

How will the territories be involved in the choice of projects?

Local authorities are closely associated through the Territoires d’industrie system. It organizes a permanent dialogue between inter-municipal authorities, manufacturers, prefects and regional councils. For relocations, 400 million euros are intended to accelerate projects that are moving up from the territories.

Next-generation 5G mobile technology was not the subject of special provisions in the stimulus package. Is it no longer strategic for the government?

It is not the case at all. 5G is one of the five critical areas for relocation. Likewise, telecoms appear in black and white in the Investment Plan for the Future. Finally, infrastructure funding will concern very high speed via fiber. They will come to reduce the territorial divide, which appeared very clearly during the confinement.

We have almost daily exchanges with the Nokia teams. I spoke with its general manager last week. I recalled our expectations for maintaining skills in France. I told the boss of Nokia again that if France was no longer, in his eyes, a strategic country, then we will draw all the consequences. Pekka Lundmark confirmed to me that France was strategic and made some suggestions. We are in the process of instructing them and awaiting clarification.

What do you say to the unions who criticize aid granted without compensation for employment?

I am very surprised because behind each project supported, you need skills. Our challenge is to have discussions with manufacturers who invest in France and create jobs there.

How are we to understand that the State is spending 7 billion euros to save Air France-KLM, before it decides to close the Hop! from Morlaix?

We are taking on this state-guaranteed loan because our national company was on the verge of bankruptcy, with thousands of jobs at risk. We are working on the Morlaix situation: the teams at Bercy are in regular contact with those at Air France. I confirm to you that the discussions are nourished. In this type of situation, our goal is to find solutions for the employees and to minimize the impact on the territory.

There is a very strong mobilization of the government on this file. Bruno Le Maire himself is in the process of dealing with the Minister for Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebbari.

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