Earlier this week, the government announced orders for at least 15 high-speed trains, "mostly for tracks on which they cannot run at their maximum speed, in a pre-election bid to preserve jobs at the Alstom plant, according to the news network France 24.
The decision came after Alstom promised to transfer 400 of the plant's 480 jobs elsewhere, in a move that is expected to reduce the factory to a maintenance depot.
In an interview with Sputnik, economics expert and blogger Charles Sannat questioned the government's salvation plan regarding Alstom, saying that a year after the presidential elections in France the problem will again come to the fore.
"The plan may cause problems pertaining to European competition law, and it is unclear whether this plan will be implemented. The French government's unilateral order via Alstom is an illegal move and it is really hidden aid [to French industry]," Sannat said.
This view is echoed by Yves Pozzo di Borgo from the center-right UDI party, who is also deputy chairman of the Senate's Foreign Affairs Commission.
Speaking to Sputnik, he suggested that the European Commission for Competition is "very likely to the project," which he said can be described as "a pre-election move by President Hollande, who wants to delay the closure of the Alstom plant for the period that will follow the presidential elections [in France]."
"He knows full well that the decisions will not be taken immediately. He hypocritically declares that 'we will do it' although the European Commission for Competition may reject the project because it is not related to direct subsidies and is out of line with economic standards," he said.
"For an order worth more than 418,000 euros, a competitive bid is required. You cannot just send the order and select a supplier beforehand. Instead, you are supposed to announce a bid and provide many criteria, and it will be won by those who offer the lowest price," he said.