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France to ban bonuses at state-aided firms

  The French government would issue a decree next week to ban bonuses for executives at state-aided firms, a French official announced Thursday.

The French government planned to issue a decree next week, curbing stock options, bonuses or other advantages in companies receiving government help, said President Nicolas Sarkozy’s chief of staff Claude Gueant. The topic of high pay for executives at state-aided firms have been a hot topic in France these days.

Earlier this week, four top executives at French bank Societe Generale, which took government bailout funds, gave up tens of thousands of stock options. The outgoing head of the struggling auto equipment supplier Valeo, anther giant enterprise of France, received a severance payment of more than €3.2 million this week. The company lost over €200 million in 2008 and was planning to slash 5,000 jobs worldwide.

Sarkozy’s government sought to calm public outrage by talking tough on executive pay. The French decree, which did not require parliamentary approval, would be “faster and earlier,” said Gueant. (Xinhua)