The U.S. Treasury Department has threatened to sanction France’s largest bank group with this exorbitant fine for supposed violations of the economic blockade it has imposed on Cuba, Sudan and Iran.
The amount demanded by the U.S. is not reasonable and presents a serious problem, Fabius said, speaking in Paris to France 2 television, adding that the fine could have a devastating effect on the French economy, if the amount indicated is confirmed.
“This is an example of an unjust, unilateral decision,” he said, emphasizing that Washington would be sending a bad message by imposing such a sanction on a French financial institution, precisely when the United States and the European Union are discussing a transatlantic trade agreement.
Asked if the French government would defend BNP Paribas before U.S. authorities, Fabius responded affirmatively.Ministers, former official and analysts denounced the fine. “The United States cannot act in a unilateral fashion. It cannot treat its allies this way,” according to Jean-Marie Le Guen, responsible for the French government’s relations with Parliament. While the former head of Foreign Trade, Pierre Lellouche commented that the BNP Paribas fine was particularly shocking and called on the government to react.
Lellouche decried attempts by the U.S. to impose its laws on other countries, saying that this constitutes a violation of international law.
This is also the opinion of Sorbonne professor and journalist Salim Lamrani, who said that in accordance with current norms, U.S. legislation should not be applied in France, just as German laws are not used in Britain. What should prevail is national law, he said speaking with Prensa Latina. (PL)