By Michael Northcott Monday, 26 November 2012

Au revoir: French finance minister says ArcelorMittal no longer welcome

The country's finance minister Arnaud Montebourg has accused steel giant ArcelorMittal of 'not respecting France' and said the firm is no longer welcome.

The French finance minister has told a French newspaper: ‘We do not want Mittal in France any longer because they do not respect France. Mittal’s lies since 2006 are damning.’

The minister said that the steel giant ‘has never honoured its commitments’ in France, after it closed down its last operating blast furnaces in the eastern France region of Florange. The firm wants to keep certain other operations in the area, but has ended up in a bitter row with the Socialist government.

Tempers have flared because the original Mittal firm bought out the French state-owned Arcelor – which essentially made Mittal in Europe – only to close down the French operation a mere six years later.

Mittal has also warned that if it sells the whole Florange site, it will threaten the rest of its French operation, thereby putting around 20,000 jobs at risk, so understandably, the government is angry at how things have panned out.

The regulatory deadline for a solution to be reached is the coming Saturday, and whilst tensions remain high, there does not yet appear to be a deal on the table…

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