France’s newly-appointed Environment Minister Barbara Pompili said on Thursday she would push to pause the development of warehouses used by online businesses such as Amazon, in a possible setback for the e-commerce giant.
Pompili, who was named to the position in a cabinet reshuffle by President Emmanuel Macron this month, said any moratorium on warehouse plans would be “for a few months” and aimed at fomenting a broader discussion about the retail sector.
“It is not a weapon against Amazon,” Pompili told France Inter radio.
Amazon has planned to open new warehouses in France in the short and medium-term.
Pompili said the state wanted to protect small retail businesses and help them survive the expansion of major e-commerce rivals. She said the initiative has been discussed with other ministers but the government had yet to take concrete steps.
She said a moratorium would allow for the commissioning of a parliamentary report to probe the impact on jobs and local areas linked to warehouse plans.
Amazon ran into trouble in France during the coronavirus crisis after a dispute with unions over safety measures, which forced it to close its six warehouses for several weeks, curtailing and delaying some deliveries.