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French govt set to ban executive payoffs

Video by Oliver FARRY , FRANCE 2

Text by FRANCE 24 (with wires)

Latest update : 2009-03-30

French PM François Fillon is due to unveil a decree banning stock options and other executive perks in companies that receive state bailouts, a week after several French banks faced public furore for handing out massive bonuses.

French PM François Fillon and finance minister Christine Lagarde are to unveil on Monday their decree banning bonuses and stock options for executives heading companies - notably banks – who have received state aid, the PM’s office said late on Sunday.

The decree will “ban stock options and free shares for company heads until 2010,” according to French financial daily Les Echos. The government says these financial rules are justified in times of crisis but not beyond, the daily wrote.

Last week, there was widespread outrage after it was revealed that executives from bailed-out companies including the banks Societe Generale and Credit Agricole, had awarded themselves bonuses and stock options.

“We will issue a decree on Monday. It will clearly state that companies that have received state aid will have to give up executive incentives like stock options, bonuses or golden parachutes,” said Eric Besson, France's immigration minister.

However, the opposition Socialist Party has rejected the decree, preferring instead a law that would cap executive pay and ban stock options. 

Date created : 2009-03-30

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