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France, Germany urge Brussels to protect industry - paper

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PARIS, Oct 11 (Reuters) - France, Germany and five otherEuropean Union countries urged the bloc's executive arm onThursday to protect struggling manufacturing industry fromunfair competition on the global stage, the French daily LesEchos reported.

Industry ministers from seven countries - France, Germany,Italy, Spain, Portugal, Luxembourg and Romania - sent a letterto the European Commission calling for a change in policy, thepaper said.

"Brussels is preventing us from coming up to par in theunfair global competition," French Industry Minister ArnaudMontebourg told Les Echos, according to excerpts of an interviewto be published on Friday.

Industrial production across the 27-member bloc has shrunkin the past five years and millions of jobs have been lost, withthe automobile sector having to cut overcapacity in France,Spain and Italy.

(Reporting by Nicholas Vinocur; Editing by Kevin Liffey)

((nicholas.vinocur@thomsonreuters.com)(+33 1 4949 5188)(ReutersMessaging: nicholas.vinocur.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

Keywords: FRANCE INDUSTRY/