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It was generally viewed as having been dealt a fatal blow by five decisions made by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) during 2002 and 2003. However, the ‘golden share’, which was created to enable governments to obtain revenue through privatisation, while at the same time retaining some degree of national control, appears to be very much back in business during early 2006. The business press refers frequently to a surge in ‘economic nationalism’, focusing on government intervention in M&A activity in France, Spain, Italy, Poland and even Luxembourg. These are all cases of governments seeking to enjoy the benefits of the golden share without relying directly on the illegal device itself.

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