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Germany, France Push For Changes To EU Rules For Siemens-Alstom Rail Merger

On the back of an impending veto by the European Union (EU) on the planned merger of the rail activities of German conglomerate Siemens AG (SIEGY.PK,SMAWF) and France's Alstom SA (AOMFF.PK,ALS.L), Germany and France are pushing for changes to the European Competition rules.

The European Union watchdog is set to decide by February 18 whether to approve the merger, with reports saying that the European Commission was likely to veto the merger, which was agreed upon in 2017 to create a Franco-German rail champion.

The likely EU rejection on antitrust grounds is generating a political backlash in Paris and Berlin against Europe's independent competition regulator.

French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire has called for an overhaul of policy, while German Chancellor Angela Merkel has also talked of loosening EU rules. Maire added that the French government will make proposals within days or weeks.

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