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France sells 49% stake in airport

France is selling a 49.9% stake in the airport in Toulouse to a Chinese consortium looking to increase international air links in the south of France.

The Toulouse-Blagnac airport is also home to Airbus, which tests some of its largest aircraft there.

Economy minister Emmanuel Macron told La Depeche newspaper that the 308 million euro (£243 million) stake went to the Symbiose consortium, which includes an aircraft leasing company already among Airbus' clients.

He said the airport itself - runway and buildings - would remain state property.

Macron criticised recent comments attacking the deal, saying he was having a "hard time" understanding why it's OK for the Chinese to buy planes but not part of an airport.

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