What The Papers Say: Renault fails to speak Belgium’s language

In contrast to Toyota’s announcement of the Halewood closure in January, when British big guns were relatively silent, Renault caught a full salvo from European political leaders over its decision to close a plant in Belgium. Even the French PM, Alain Juppe and Foreign Minister Herve de Charette, whose government still has a 48 per cent stake in Renault, criticised its handling of the closure. Renault’s response was a Gallic shrug from chairman Louis Schweitzer and a 13 per cent increase in the share price.

In contrast to Toyota’s announcement of the Halewood closure in

January, when British big guns were relatively silent, Renault caught a

full salvo from European political leaders over its decision to close a

plant in Belgium. Even the French PM, Alain Juppe and Foreign Minister

Herve de Charette, whose government still has a 48 per cent stake in

Renault, criticised its handling of the closure. Renault’s response was

a Gallic shrug from chairman Louis Schweitzer and a 13 per cent increase

in the share price.



King Albert II was ’greatly concerned’. Belgian PM, Jean-Luc Dehaene

called the decision ’brutal and unacceptable’ and wanted to take Renault

to court. EC officials from president Jacques Santer down took Renault

to task, ignoring the fact that it was their own desire for ’social

protection’ that made Renault uncompetitive. It also emerged that

Renault wants to take advantage of the EC regional funding initiative to

uprate a Spanish plant to take over the Belgian production.



Evaluation and analysis by Carma International.



Cuttings supplied by The Broadcast Monitoring Company. ’What The Papers

Say’ can also be found at: http//www.carma.com/carma.



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