France plots to evade EU rules over telecom debt
These rules are made for breaking
Because the money will be raised from the private sector, it hopes to satisfy the EU. In practice, of course, the banks will only lend to the new entity because it effectively has a government guarantee.
Asked about the plan in a radio interview, industry minister Nicole Fontaine said: "It is one of the trails we are following (but) there is no one government proposal."
France Telecom's new chairman Thierry Breton said earlier this month that he would need two months to draw up a refinancing plan for France Telecom SA, which has debts of 69.7bn euro ($68.3bn) debt.
Ironically, France Telecom was only able to build up debts of this scale, during a vast acquisition spree, because it was majority-owned by the French government.