PARIS, Feb 6 (Reuters) - The French government will be there to support the activities of Atos and the tens of thousands of jobs employed by the struggling IT services group, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire told paper Les Echos in its Tuesday issue.

"We will not abandon the industrial activities of Atos, which represent tens of thousands of jobs", Le Maire was cited as saying after Atos shares plunged around 29% on Monday.

On Monday, Atos said it would drop plans for a rights issue due to "changes in the market environment" and added it had started talks with its banks about refinancing its debt.

The company also said on Monday that talks to sell Tech Foundations, Atos' loss-making IT consulting arm, to Czech businessman Daniel Kretinsky's EPEI group were continuing, with "no certainty" of reaching a final agreement on the sale.

"The French government will use all the means at its disposal to preserve Atos' strategic activities", Le Maire said, adding his services were "in regular contact" with Atos' management and were following the matter "very closely". (Reporting by Zhifan Liu; Writing by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Sudip Kar-Gupta)