Germans support govt control over chems - survey

29 October 2008 15:27  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--A clear majority of Germans would welcome government participation or even nationalisation in key industries such as power utilities and banking, and 45% would welcome more government control over chemicals and pharmaceuticals, according to a survey published on Wednesday.


The survey of 1,001 people was conducted 22-23 October by research firm Forsa on behalf of Stern, a weekly magazine


Backing for more government control over chemicals and pharmaceuticals producers was strongest among supporters of the Social Democrats (51%), the Green Party (54%) and the leftist Linke party (53%).


However, even many supporters of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (39%) and the pro-market Liberals (35%) came out in favour of a stronger government role in chemicals and pharmaceuticals.


The industry ranked fourth in the list of sectors where Germans would like to see more government control.


A majority, 77%, of supporters of all parties would favour nationalisation or government participation in electricity and natural gas, 64% would welcome this in banking and insurance, and 60% want to see government control in airlines, railways and postal services.


The automobile sector ranked lowest with only 26% supporting government intervention.


Stern commissioned the survey to gauge Germans’ view of recent plans by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to protect French firms against takeovers by foreign companies, it said.


Sarkozy plans to set up a sovereign wealth fund that would help protect French firms whose share prices are depressed in the wake of the global financial crisis.


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By: Stefan Baumgarten
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