Despite receiving the early backing of the French government, the coming together of the power titans has recently been beset by problems, ironically including a legislative one created by the government itself.

Additionally the EU has always had its issues with the development and Italian energy company Enel has been an almost constant thorn in its side. However, now the proposed development seems even further away as two new obstacles have been thrown into the works.

According to a report in the Guardian newspaper, European competition commissioner Neelie Kroes is poised to announce a length investigation into the proposed merger due to concerns that it would be detrimental to consumers, while opponents in the French parliament have also been strongly arguing against the move.

Ironically, Brussels appears keen to investigate the potential effect of the merger because of concerns over anti-competitive issues in the Belgian market. Meanwhile, French parliamentarians and trade unionist are unhappy that State jewel Gaz de France would have to be effectively privatized to make the deal workable.