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Originally published Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 8:16 AM

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France to announce recovery plan for auto industry

President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday he would announce a "rather massive" plan in the coming days to support the automobile and building industries, victims of the economic crisis.

VALENCIENNES, France —

President Nicolas Sarkozy said Tuesday he would announce a "rather massive" plan in the coming days to support the automobile and building industries, victims of the economic crisis.

Speaking at a round-table discussion in this northern French city, Sarkozy gave no details of the plan.

Within 10 days, he said, "we will announce a rather massive recovery plan to counter difficulties of the automobile sector" and "to strengthen the building industry," he said. Energy savings would be part of the plan to help the building sector, he added.

The announcement came a day after Sarkozy pledged to help France's struggling car industry, noting that Washington is considering a $25 billion bailout to help save Detroit's big three automakers.

"We won't let the auto industry down," he said Monday after talks with Germany's chancellor.

France's car industry has been reeling in recent months, with some factories shutting down for the holidays to save money. The French government has come under pressure to come up with some kind of bailout.

Up to 10 percent of France's working population is in the auto sector, including dealerships, Sarkozy said, adding that France is intent on keeping industries at home.

He said Tuesday that his recovery plan would notably aim to help auto industry subcontractors.

Sarkozy's comments come even as he is pushing for an accord on global warming in the 27-nation EU that carmakers have resisted because it would require severe cuts in emissions.

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