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Over a million in France sign petition for referendum on ADP privatisation

By Marianne Curphey

The French government faces opposition to plans for a sell-off of ADP, the operator of Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports

A petition calling for a referendum on the possible privatisation of French airport operator ADP has attracted more than one million signatures.

The French government is planning to raise money for other projects by selling off its stake in ADP, the operator of Paris’ Charles de Gaulle and Orly airports, but it has been met with fierce opposition from socialists, politicians and voters.

According to a report by the Reuters news agency, France’s highest court revealed that over one million people had now signed the petition calling for a referendum to be held over the privatisation plans.

The government plans to sell all or part of its 50.6 per cent stake in ADP, which is worth around 8.8bn euros ($9.7 bn, £7.46bn) at current market prices, as part of a drive to divest some state holdings to finance a €10bn innovation fund and pay off state debt.

The move has faced criticism from President Emmanuel Macron’s political rivals who object to a sell-off of France’s state-owned assets. Objectors are concerned that the disposal will cut off a valuable income stream and mean France has less clout in the transport sector.

In May 2019 a group of opposition MPs in France won the right to launch a referendum procedure to block the sale. The mechanism is rarely used but has been allowed by the courts.

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