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France to press General Electric on job pledges - minister

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By Reuters
France to press General Electric on job pledges - minister
FILE PHOTO: The General Electric logo is pictured on the General Electric offshore wind turbine plant in Montoir-de-Bretagne, near Saint-Nazaire, western France, November 21, 2016. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe/File Photo   -   Copyright  Stephane Mahe(Reuters)

PARIS (Reuters) – French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Wednesday he would press General Electric’s new chief executive to stick to French job creation pledges made by the CEO’s predecessor.

The French government brandished the threat of fines in June after former GE Chief Executive John Flannery told Le Maire that the company would fail to create as many jobs as promised when it bought Alstom’s energy business in 2015.

The group ousted Flannery on Monday, replacing him with outsider Larry Culp while booking a $23 billion (18 billion pounds) charge to write off goodwill at its power division, primarily from the 2015 acquisition.

“I will make contact in the coming days with General Electric’s new CEO to ask him to keep his predecessors commitments to the French state and workers,” Le Maire told lawmakers in the lower house of parliament.

GE had committed to create 1,000 net new jobs by the end of this year when it bought Alstom’s <ALSO.PA> energy business, but Flannery said in June that that target was “out of reach”.

The government later raised the possibility of fines worth 50,000 euros for each job not created.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas and Yann Le Guernigou; editing by Richard Lough)