“Health crisis accelerates nationalization”, observes François Lenglet

A vast movement of privatization of public enterprises was born in the Anglo-Saxon world, with Thatcher in the United Kingdom and the Reagan in the United States. He had conquered the entire planet, including France, which was under the Jospin government at the turn of the century, which at that time sold public property for at least 30 billion euros, for example, France Telecom, highways, banking And the financial sector…

A movement of privatization which has gradually come to an end. Health crisis triggers a reversal, Nationalization is actually growing. In the space of 15 days, two were announced. Air France, where the government will be able to keep up to 30% of the capital, and the Atlantic’s shipyards in Saint-Nazaire, build these huge cruise ships, which the state now claims to hold for want. A buyer who is friendly. And there is a loom, it is Revalidation of EDFAt least from nuclear production.

Italy announced yesterday Nationalization of Vishal Ilva SteelworksA steelwork is completely shabby, with an industrial site in Puglia in the south of the country. Last month, Scottish Rail came under public control. Last month, in Wales, the state controlled railway lines, so far managed by a subsidiary of SNCF which throws in the towel.

Epidemic, main factors

An epidemic is the main reason for this. Particularly for the transport sector, both air and rail, which were heavily affected by preventive measures and which may have fallen Bankrupt it was not for the states To support businesses with billions.

But the trend is deep. States now feel More legitimate to directly intervene in the economy, Whether they are left or right for that matter. Exactly like 20 or 30 years ago. All governments privatized, irrespective of their political standing. These new time signals, the British state purchased Oneb, a company deploying a network of satellites in low orbit, for strategic reasons.

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The state handles sick companies

States are often forced to take up businesses that are in poor condition. And since he is afraid of social consequences, he Not for restructuring which is necessary for survival. He hesitates to close the factories. There are still rare counter-examples, such as Peugeot Citroën, partially nationalized in 2014, painfully restructured and brilliantly straightforward.

This nationalization movement can go very far, more than one imagined two or three years ago. First, because with the epidemic, The states have taken control of the economy, and they will find it difficult to surrender Quickly, even if they want to, due to persistent weaknesses. And then because a new requirement is imposed, half between political and economic: Return of national interestProtecting the strategic interests of the country, in a world where powers collide more and more violently. Only states can assume this responsibility.

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