March 20, 2009

Renault plan causes stir in Brussels

Carmaker Renault's plans to move some production from Slovenia to France ignited protectionist worries and a quick reaction at a Brussels summit meeting.

A company spokeswoman said Renault planned to increase production in both countries, but French industry minister Luc Chatel said in a radio broadcast the automaker planned to relocate production, creating 400 jobs in Flins, France, near Paris.

EU competition commission Neelie Kroes said she would seek clarification on the issue as Chatel had pledged earlier that $8 billion in French bailout funds for carmakers would not be linked to protectionist policies, the BBC reported Friday.

At a news conference Friday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said, I think there was a misunderstanding.