French President Nicolas Sarkozy has threatened the ratification of the Lisbon treaty by his statement about the production of French brand cars in the Czech Republic, Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek has said.
Topolanek, whose country holds the six-month rotating EU presidency, called Sarkozy’s statement unbelievable, Czech media reports said.
“If someone wanted to seriously threaten the ratification of the Lisbon treaty, he could not have chosen better means and time for it,” Topolanek reportedly said.
Sarkozy said in a TV interview that it is necessary to prevent the relocation of factories abroad to save jobs in France and that French plants in other countries should move back to France if possible.
“I want us to stop out-sourcing and if possible in-source,” Sarkozy said. “If we give money to the auto industry to restructure itself, it’s not so we can hear about a new plant moving to the Czech Republic or wherever.”
Sarkozy was discussing his stimulus package and support for French carmakers.
France will lend EUR6bn to Renault and PSA Peugeot-Citroen in exchange for a promise to halt job losses and rein in executive bonuses, reports said Monday.
In the same TV interview Sarkozy also managed to offend Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who has chosen to cut sales taxes to seek a demand-led recovery.
“If the British have done that it’s because they have no more industry,” Sarkozy said.
“Gordon Brown can’t do what I’ve done for the car industry … because they haven’t got one.”