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Sinking Mistrals Could Raise Social Tensions - French Politician

© REUTERS / Stephane Mahe The Mistral-class helicopter carrier Vladivostok is seen at the STX Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire
The Mistral-class helicopter carrier Vladivostok is seen at the STX Les Chantiers de l'Atlantique shipyard site in Saint-Nazaire - Sputnik International
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The municipal councilor of France's Saint-Nazaire, where Mistral carriers are made, told Sputnik that trade unions are split over the government's deadlock in the shipment.

Sebastopol mistral warship is on its way for its first sea trials, on March 16, 2015 off Saint-Nazaire - Sputnik International
That Sinking Feeling: What Can France Do With Its Two Surplus Mistrals?
Residents of Saint-Nazaire, where the Mistral aircraft carriers meant for Russia are made, are increasingly concerned about their fate, municipal councilor and Front National party member Gauthier Bouchet told Sputnik.

According to Bouchet, the idea of sinking the Mistrals could become a possibility as they are made for Arctic conditions which would not attract potential customers in Brazil, Egypt or Indonesia.

"I believe that it will become apparent through voting or people leaving traditional labor unions which are not acting in support of the Mistrals. CGT (General Confederation of Labor) is at a loss in this issue, opinions are divided in half," Bouchet said.

Bouchet added that the situation could become a wider social movement if France's refusal to ship Mistrals creates blowback for the aerospace indutry and subcontractors.

The Vladivostok Mistral-class helicopter carrier - Sputnik International
Caught in Limbo: French Navy Has No Use for Extra Mistrals, Looks to Moscow
"I would not want that to happen. I would like Saint-Nazaire to retain its industrial power. But this city doesn't know if there will be contracts in a year or two, or if they will be fulfilled if the government refuses to fulfill them due to foreign policy considerations," Bouchet said.

Bouchet added that if the Mistral deal has caused unemployment to rise in Saint-Nazaire, protests like the one that Front National organized in Saint-Nazaire September could become more frequent.

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