France picks Atos boss for EU commissioner

Source: Xinhua| 2019-10-24 20:19:07|Editor: xuxin
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PARIS, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- France on Thursday nominated chief executive of Atos technology group Thierry Breton to manage the single currency bloc's industrial policy in the next European Commission, President Emmanuel Macron's office said in a statement.

"The President of the Republic has sent to European Commission President-elect Ursula von der Leyen, his proposal to appoint Thierry Breton as a member of the European Commission," the Elysee said.

"The French portfolio remains unchanged, with the industrial policy, the strengthening of the internal market, digital, defense and space," it added.

Breton, 64, former finance minister under late President Jacques Chirac, has been chief executive at technology group Atos since 2009. He also managed telecoms giant Orange in the early 2000s.

"He is a very great industrial captain. He has modernized France Telecom. He has chaired Thomson, he has chaired Atos, very present in the world. He was a great minister of the economy, who reduced the deficits, the debt," French Budget Minister Gerald Darmanin told Europe 1.

France's new nominee to head EU industrial policy came after European lawmakers, in a rare move, rejected two weeks ago Sylvie Goulard, Macron's initial choice for European Commissioner.

Goulard, ex-defense minister and former EU lawmaker, had faced unprecedented resistance from the European Parliament over her role in fake job scandal, in which she denies wrongdoing, French media reported.

Each EU member state nominates a candidate for the Commission who must then be approved by the European Parliament.