Munich/Paris — The Siemens-Alstom agreement to merge their rail operations is a Franco-German industrial breakthrough for French President Emmanuel Macron but has riled opposition politicians. Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire, who said on Tuesday that the French government welcomed the planned tie-up which would protect French jobs, reiterated his support on Wednesday. Speaking ahead of a French-Italian summit in Lyon later on Wednesday, he said he hoped Europe could create a leading naval company similar to the one formed by the railway transaction. France and Italy could reach a deal over the STX France shipyards at the meeting of the two countries’ leaders, an official in French President Emmanuel Macron’s office said on Monday. Le Maire said he would visit Alstom’s emblematic Belfort site to reassure workers over their jobs following the Siemens deal. The new entity would create a European leader able to take on Chinese and world rivals, he said. But the opposition worries that F...

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