Since the start of discussions for a merger between the French Naval Group and the Italian Fincantieri, two of the main European naval defense groups, a notion has repeatedly come up, that of creating "a naval Airbus". And on the occasion of his speech worth balance sheet preceding his departure, Hervé Guillou, president of Naval Group since 2014 and who will leave this post in favor of Pierre-Eric Pommellet, once again called on the European naval defense industry to come together and consolidate, in order to be ready to face competition from countries like South Korea, Turkey, Russia and above all China, not to mention the United States, which, we know it, do not hesitate to interfere in European negotiations on this subject. But, like President Macron's proposals for extending French deterrence in Europe, this vision proposed by Hervé Guillou does not seem to create enthusiasm among certain European manufacturers ...
Barely elected, President Emmanuel Macron had to face, in the summer of 2017, a Franco-Italian crisis about the resumption of the shipyards of Saint-Nazaires, then called STX France, following the judicial reorganization of the South Korean STX offshore and Shipbuilding, which had inherited the company in 2007 when the Norwegian group Aker yards was acquired, which acquired these yards from the French Alstom in 2004. In fact, at the start of 2017, the Fincantieri group was the only declared buyer, and de facto owned the 66% of the shares put up for sale by STX. But the French government, fearing a slow relocation and technological looting of know-how and orders, vetoed it, and carried out a partial nationalization of the site. To promote the assembly proposed by the new French president, Paris proposed in Rome the creation of a partnership which would bring together on a joint basis, the French Naval Group and Italian Fincantieri groups, with the aim of creating a European leader in shipbuilding of defense. In addition, France undertook to choose an Italian model for the replacement of its tankers of the Marine Nationale.
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