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French finance minister applauds UK decision on Hinkley Point

PARIS, Sept 15 The French government on Thursday welcomed Britain's decision to approve the construction of a nuclear plant at Hinkley Point in southern England by French utility EDF.

"This marks a major milestone in Franco-British industrial and energy cooperation," French Economy minister Michel Sapin said in a statement.

The 18 billion pound ($23.78 billion) project, that will be part financed by the Chinese, has divided opinion in France at a time when EDF's finances are stretched already by the absorption of loss-making nuclear plant builder Areva.

Sapin called the project "good news" for the French nuclear industry and said it would showcase its nuclear technology globally.

($1 = 0.7569 pounds) (Reporting by Matthias Blamont; editing by Richard Lough)

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