Ex-French economy minister Montebourg goes to business school

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Former major figure in government has enrolled at top institution because he wants to set up own firm and 'running a business is a real job'.

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Arnaud Montebourg, the socialist former French industry minister best known for threatening to nationalise parts of steel group ArcelorMittal, started business school today to learn how to do a “real job” and set up his own company, reports The Financial Times.

The 52-year-old was fired by President François Hollande in August to quell a left-wing revolt against the government’s economic program. On Monday he started a four-week long “Advanced Management Program” at the business school Insead.

The former lawyer frequently compared himself to Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the dirigiste finance minister under Louis XIV, over his two years as minister, where he also engaged in a number of scraps with international business leaders over their role in France.

Mr Montebourg accused Indian steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal of “lying” and “blackmail” over plans to close two blast furnaces in France, causing consternation when he threatened to temporarily nationalise the sites.

This year he campaigned to stop US conglomerate General Electric from buying the bulk of French industrial group Alstom, criticising both groups in parliament and attempting to arrange a “European Solution” by bringing in Germany’s Siemens to the deal.

Read more of this report from The Financial Times.

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