A German politician has slammed France's decision to choose US-based General Electric over Siemens as the preferred buyer of Alstom's energy assets, saying France had put national interests over European interests in approving the deal.
In an interview with German radio station Deutschlandfunk, Peter Ramsauer, an ally of Merkel and chairman of the German parliament's economics committee, said: "The French government has a different philosophy."
"It acts with ice-cold national industrial interest, and the French government has clearly put its own national interests, one-sided French concerns, ahead of European interests," Reuters quoted him as saying.
Ramsauer added that Germany should have provided the same support to Siemens that the French did for Alstom. Ramsauer is a member of Bavaria-centred Christian Social Union (CSU), a political party in alliance with Merkel. Siemens is based in Bavaria.
Ramsauer also criticised France's plans to buy a 20% stake in Alstom despite its heavy debts and budget deficit.
"On the one side, France is on the brink in terms of its indebtedness, but on the other side seems able to afford to buy a 20% stake in Alstom," he said.
GE earlier cleared the final hurdle in its race to acquire the energy assets of France's Alstom, as the French government agreed to acquire a 20% stake in Alstom from shareholder Bouygues.
The government ownership in Alstom was a condition set by Paris to back the deal with GE, thwarting a counter offer from Siemens and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.
Earlier, the board of Alstom unanimously approved the revised offer from GE to acquire its thermal power, renewable power and grid businesses for €12.35bn ($16.8bn, £9.9bn). In addition, GE will sell its railway signal business to Alstom, and set up three joint ventures with the French company, following the transaction.
Simultaneously, the board rejected the sweetened proposal by Siemens and Mitsubishi, saying it "does not adequately address the interests of Alstom and of its stakeholders".