PARIS Oct 12 French President Francois Hollande
on Wednesday accused the United States of abusing its power when
it demands multi-billion dollar fines from European companies
while shielding its own firms, stoking an increasingly bitter
In an interview to a French magazine six months before a
presidential election, Hollande said the fines - most recently a
possible $14 billion penalty for Germany's Deutsche Bank fine
for selling toxic mortgage-backed securities in the United
States - were one reason why he could not support a European
free-trade deal with the U.S.
"When the Commission goes after Google or digital giants
which do not pay the taxes they should in Europe, America takes
offence," the Socialist leader told L'Obs magazine in a
"And yet, they quite shamelessly demand 8 billion from BNP
or 5 billion to Deutsche Bank," he said.
Hollande's comments just days after a French parliamentary
report criticised the U.S. over its increasingly aggressive use
of extraterritorial laws that have cost European companies
billions in fines and other settlements.
(Reporting by Michel Rose; editing by Richard Lough)