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Siemens wins court battle over Chunnel bid

The Local · 30 Oct 2010, 09:28

Published: 30 Oct 2010 09:28 GMT+02:00

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Alstom, which makes French high-speed TGV trains, filed the complaint in London, where Eurostar is based, to attempt to force the suspension of a €600 million ($835 million) deal for 10 high-speed trains.

But judge Geoffrey Vos said in his ruling at the High Court in London, "I dismiss Alstom's application."

The judge said Alstom did not have a "serious case" and that granting a suspension "would be against the public interest."

Eurostar, which is 55 percent-owned by the French national rail operator, and Siemens had united to strongly contest Alstom's legal bid. The deal to buy the ICE trains built by Siemens sparked a row between Germany and France.

The French government criticised the deal and argued that the German train did not meet safety standards in the Channel Tunnel, which links France to Britain. A defiant Alstom said Friday it would pursue its legal challenge.

The row over Eurostar's new train order is part of a Franco-German race for dominance of Europe's high-speed rail links.

German train operator Deutsche Bahn wants to be able to run its own services through the Channel Tunnel to Britain with the aim of linking Frankfurt to London in a journey lasting less than five hours.

Story continues below…

This month Deutsche Bahn tested one of its Siemens trains in the Channel Tunnel, making it the first non-Eurostar train to use the link. The European Union has backed moves to open up the tunnel to competition.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

21:34 October 30, 2010 by wood artist
What do I think?

I think the French need to understand that they are working in a global economy and that the days of old fashioned protectionism are gone. Companies should expect to competition from other countries, and it's no longer possible to justify "buying local, even though it's not as good or more expensive" when governments and businesses are struggling to stay afloat.

This is not a case of "the cheaper labor in China or Asia" is doing us in. It is, more likely, a case that hard working, productive companies and societies are going to survive while those who wish to strike because they're now expected to actually "work" will fall to the wayside.

Hats off to the court for recognizing the real issues involved here, and taking a strong stance in pointing out the truth. If you want to sell your product, find ways to make it better, or cheaper, or both!

23:23 October 30, 2010 by Max Pearson
I'm glad the deal went to Siemens... I'm neither French nor German but have seen on numerous occasions contracts awarded to French companies are notorious for being used as leverage by overly hostile unions with grand political agendas.

France needs to sort out their employment law fast because doing business with anyone there is simply too expensive and too unpredictable.... and as wa says, in the modern world - French workers are looking like dodos.

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