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November 22, 1993

LAST HURDLE TO FRANCE TELECOM BECOMING A SOCIETE ANONYME IS CLEARED

By CBR Staff Writer

The State Council, which the French government is obliged to consult for projects requiring changes in public ordinances, has removed the last conceptual obstacle to the legal transformation of France Telecom from state agency to private company held in majority by the state. The council reversed ex-sting jurisprudence on the question of the compatibility of the statute protecting public functionaries in a company financed with private capital. Thus, it says, the new law destined to transform France Telecom into a societe anonyme will be able to invest the company president with the power to appoint and manage public assets. Nonetheless, the president of France Telecom will continue to be considered an authority subordinate to the government and appointed by it. Furthermore, the new France Telecom must assume missions of public service. France Telecom’s unions, which are due to meet today with Minister of Industry Gerard Longuet, are nonplussed. Force Ouvriere says it does not intend to change its opinion, while the Confederation Francaise Democratique de Travail and the Confederation Generale de Travail are still demanding the pure and simple withdrawal of the transformation plan, on threat of another strike.

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