Mr Sarkozy said the state would take dramatic action in all fields of economic management to head off the worst crisis since the "franc fort" deflation of the 1930s. "We will intervene massively whenever a strategic enterprise needs our money," he said.
The fund managed by Caisse des Depots – the investment arm of the French state – will be used to buy shares in any company falling prey to sovereign wealth funds from Asia and the Middle East, hoping to snap up Europe's crown jewels on the cheap after the stock market crash.
"We mustn't be naive and leave companies at the mercy of predators. Europe must not be the only one not to defend its interests. There is no reason why we shouldn't do what the Chinese do, and the Russians do. There is no reason why France can't have an industrial policy worthy of the name," he said.
Actually there is a reason why you can't do this.
Far be it from me to back the European Union, but if you're going to be in hte club then you do have to obey the rules. And those rules say that you're not allowed to have national champions, nor an active industrial policy, nor benefit French firms over others.
Now if you want to do all of that, well, good luck to you. I happen to think it's a bad idea, certainly, but I'll not insist that you don't do it. However, if you are going to do that I think I would rather want to insist that you've got to leave the club to do so. And the thought of us being free from the influence of France in the EU is just so delicious that I'll even hold the door open for you on the way out and make sure that it doesn't hit you on the bum as it closes.
No, not au revoir, rather good bye.