French prime minister threatens to nationalize loan-wary banks

Business Materials 3 November 2008 15:21 (UTC +04:00)

French Prime Minister Francois Fillon has threatened to nationalize any French bank receiving emergency government aid that does not extend loans to businesses, the online edition of the daily Le Figaro reported on Monday.

Interviewed for a television program to be broadcast late Monday, Fillon said, "If we feel that the banks are not doing the necessary work ... we will take back the credits we have given them."

Without this government aid, Fillon said, the banks will find themselves in difficulty, reported dpa.

"The next question is if we will then take over the bank's capital, possibly to change their leadership, to oversee their strategy," he said.

The French government last month established a fund to make available up to 265 billion euros (340 billion dollars) to French banks to guarantee interbank loans and loans to businesses.

The plan was approved by the European Union on Thursday.

The French government has established a kind of regional oversight system to ascertain if small and medium-sized enterprises were in fact receiving credit from banks.