PARIS, May 28 (Reuters) - France must protect its own interests and jobs in any merger between Renault RENA.PA and Fiat FCHA.MI, even though France's stake in Renault would automatically be diluted, said French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire.
Le Maire told RTL radio on Tuesday that the French government would seek "four guarantees" on the Renault/Fiat deal, including the protection of French jobs, ensuring France was well-represented on the board of the new entity, and ensuring Renault/Fiat was a leader in the development of electric batteries.
"The first: industrial jobs and industrial sites. I told the Renault chairman very clearly that it was the first of the guarantees I wanted from him in the opening of these negotiations. A guarantee on the preservation of industrial jobs and sites in France," said Le Maire.
Le Maire confirmed that if the deal went ahead, France's stake in Renault would go down to 7.5% from 15% at present.
(Reporting by Sudip Kar-Gupta; Editing by Richard Lough)
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