It’s almost the world upside down, Geoffroy Roux de Bézieux, the president of Medef, said he was in favor of the nationalization of French companies put in great difficulty by the impact of the coronavirus.
Asked about Franceinfo about the opportunity for the State to take such a decision, the boss of Medef replied: “Of course. We must not have taboos on the subject ”. And to add: “It will indeed be necessary that the State is there if necessary to come to the aid of the companies which would be in a very difficult financial situation. “
According to him, the coronavirus crisis is unique and cannot be compared to the financial crisis of 2008. Whole sections of the economy are down, like Air France which “has no more turnover, or almost more “and” it is “legitimate for the French State to come to its aid. “
At the time when many companies like Vivendi, Saint-Gobain, Renault, Airbus, etc. revise their objectives downward with for some a risk of lack of liquidity, the boss of the bosses believes that these multinationals especially need state support to strengthen their equity.
“Companies will come out of this highly indebted crisis. This debt will have to be repaid, “he explains, calling for” capital credits “repayable over 10 or 20 years” so as to give entrepreneurs enough time to restart the machine and start growing again. . “
Not the scenario envisioned by Renault
It remains to be seen whether nationalizations are playable and desirable? Jean-Dominique Sénard, the boss of Renault, has excluded for the moment the scenario of a renationalisation – even temporary – of the company. “We are going through one of the most difficult ordeals in our history,” he said. This is explained by the plunge in orders and the shutdown of factories in Europe. According to him, Renault as in 2008, favors asking for state aid in the form of guarantees.
On the other hand, even if he does not say it, the boss of Renault knows very well that a nationalization would risk rekindling the fire and the tensions with Nissan while the climate seems to calm down a bit since the Carlos Ghosn affair. Only the threat of nationalization makes it possible to rule out possible predators who would like to take advantage of a very small capitalization to make a good deal.
The problem is that many companies like Renault will find themselves on the brink. Hence the reflection of the economist Matthieu Plane: “You cannot nationalize the whole economy. “