The French government has decided to invest € 450 million to purchase 15 high speed TGV brand trains.
These were not an urgent requirement.
The answer is interesting and very French socialistic style:
- The government has done this to save the locomotive factory producing these trains, as it was deep into losses and on the verge of shutting down.
- The French government bought the high speed TGV trains to save the workers’ jobs, which could have been lost.
French gov will buy trains it doesn’t immediately need in order to save the Alstom train-making plant https://t.co/nWITYR1ECg
— Angelique Chrisafis (@achrisafis) 5. Oktober 2016
- As the government has placed this fresh order for new trains, the Alstom factory in Belfort, France, can continue operations until 2020. Otherwise, they would have been forced to shut down latest by 2018. This gives the factory roughly about two more years of operation, so they have a fresh opportunity to rethink their business strategy.
Isn’t that a really generous move to fight unemployment?
Here’s what French Prime Minister Manuel Valls tweeted about the decision:
Grâce à la mobilisation de l’État et à l’engagement de tous, le site d’Alstom de Belfort est sauvé ! #Fiersdenotreindustrie
— Manuel Valls (@manuelvalls) 4 October 2016
Roughly translated into English, that means, “Thanks to the State’s decision and everyone’s support, the Alstom factory of Belfort is saved! #proudofourindustry. This is an excellent example of what highly engaged leaders and citizens can achieve, if united.
How will the trains be used?
- The state-managed railway company SNCF in France has explained that there is NO immediate need for any new trains, but these trains can be used as part of the railway expansion plans in the future.
French government and Alstom agree Belfort rescue package: FRANCE: A short-term order for TGV trainse… https://t.co/2HKvymL13E #trains
— Railway Fans (@railwayfansUK) 4. Oktober 2016
- However, opposition leaders seem unhappy with the decision, and are criticising the move by saying that it’s important for the government to ensure that businesses remain competitive, and not bail out struggling companies.
For the 400 employees who’s jobs are saved though, it’s celebration time!