Paris rejects nationalisation of two French banks by Gbagbo

Paris, France (PANA) – The decision of Ivorian incumbent president Laurent Gbagbo to nationalise the Ivorian subsidiaries of two French banks has no basis in law since it emanates from an illegitimate authority, the spokesperson for the French Foreign Affairs minister, Bernard Valero, said on Friday in Paris.

Speaking in a press briefing, Mr Valero condemned the nationalisation of the International Bank for Trade and Industry in Côte d'Ivoire (BICICI), a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, and Société Generale de Banque in Côte d'Ivoire (SGBCI), a subsidiary of Société Generale.

"France reaffirms its condemnation of all forms of violence and threats against financial institutions and economic operators in Côte d'Ivoire and all form of violence and threats against civilians," he said.

Mr. Valero said the "present dramatic" situation in Côte d'Ivoire was due to the fact that the incumbent president was trying to remain in office by force, despite the sovereign choice made by the Ivorian people in the 28 November, 2010 presidential election won the opposition candidate Alassane Ouattara.

"The forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo threaten economic operators and occupied the Ivorian agencies of the Central Bank of West African States (BCEAO). This has caused a major crisis of cash and the impossibility for banking institutions to continue their activities in a safe environment," Mr Valero said.

Several Ivorian and foreign banks have closed their offices citing security reasons.

The international community has recognised the victory of Ouattara in the poll and has asked Gbagbo to step aside, but he has refused.
-0- PANA SEI/TBM/MSA/MA 18Feb2011

Côte d'Ivoire

18 february 2011 21:05:19

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