Every morning, Nicolas Beytout analyzes the political news and gives us his opinion.

This Friday, he returns to Bruno Le Maire's opposition to the rapprochement between the Canadian Couche Tard and Carrefour.

The Minister of the Economy believes that the country's food sovereignty must be protected, which would be threatened by this operation with a foreign group.

Carrefour's share price fell sharply on Thursday, as a result of statements by Bruno Le Maire who said he was hostile to a merger with the Canadian group Couche Tard.

To try to understand the attitude of Bruno Le Maire, we must delve into his latest book "The Angel and the Beast", in which he says "The economy had become politics; with the crisis, politics must be reclaiming the economy ".

Here it is, it is clear: blocking the Carrefour-Couche Tard operation is a purely political decision, not an economic one.

Okay, but is it a problem?

Yes, a real problem even.

Applying a political analysis grid to a purely economic subject is the assurance of doing damage, it is the risk of flirting with populism.

Bruno Le Maire's argument is that we must protect the country's food sovereignty, which would be threatened by this operation with a foreign group.

So that's it: a supermarket is not an arms factory or a drug factory, on the contrary, it is a strategically neutral activity, subject to implacable internal competition, impossible to relocate.

In the name of what economic rationality would the owner of a hyper-market chain make the political decision to withdraw such and such a product from its shelves?

The sovereignty argument is a fiction.

Likewise, to treat Canada as if it were China, while French and Canadian businesses spend their time doing deals and commerce, is almost insulting for this free and open country.

Nicolas Beytout adds that the offer to merge with Carrefour comes from a family group, not from a horrible pension fund, the bête noire of French politicians.

And what damage should we fear?

They are important.

First on the international level.

France spends its time bowing to international investors: "Come, come and invest in our beautiful country".

Emmanuel Macron even organizes conferences like "Chose France", which bring together the elite of world capitalism.

Well, this summit has just been canceled because of Covid but its participants also received the message: "You are not really all welcome in France anymore".

Other damage, domestically this time.

We cannot complain that the French are hostile to globalization and send a danger signal every time a friendly foreign group is a candidate in France.

This is really very counterproductive on the part of the Minister of Finance.

Can positions change?

The shareholders concerned are certainly working on it.

But this case is all the more incredible since the State is not a shareholder of Carrefour.

Economically, it therefore has no say, unless one dreams of a fully administered country.

There may still be a solution: that Bruno Le Maire reread his book.

He might come across this sentence: "Protection is the least clear form of state intervention. Nothing harms public power more than its dispersion".

We can not say it better.