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French finance minister to meet Vinci to talk airport damages

Tyres are stocked on a wreck on the RD281 road in the zoned ZAD (Deferred Development Zone) in Notre-Dame-des-Landes, after the French government's official announcement to abandon the Grand Ouest Airport (AGO) project in the area, near Nantes, France, January 18, 2018. REUTERS/Stephane Mahe


PARIS (Reuters) - France's finance minister on Thursday acknowledged the state would need to compensate construction group Vinci after abandoning plans to build a new airport in the west and said he would meet the company's president later on Thursday.

"There is a cost for the state. I want this cost to be as low as possible for the taxpayer," Bruno Le Maire told reporters. "I am convinced we will find an agreement as soon as possible."

The French government abandoned plans for a new 580 million euro (£511.2 million) airport near Nantes on Wednesday, a sensitive decision that past governments had shirked for decades.

(Reporting by Myriam Rivet; Writing by Michel Rose; Editing by Richard Lough)

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