London: French authorities have threatened to expel steel giant Arcelor Mittal from the country, accusing the firm of ‘lying and disrespecting’ the country.
The firm, which is owned by India based Mittal Steel, angered workers and the French government when it announced a plan in October to close two furnaces at its steel plant in Florange.
It gave the government a grace period of 60 days to look for a new owner, the BBC reports.
The minister, who previously opposed the closure of a Peugeot factory, accused the company of ‘overwhelming lies’ and said the Florange closure breaks a promise made by chief executive Lakshmi Mittal during Mittal Steel''s 26.9bn-euro takeover of Arcelor in 2006, which was strongly opposed by French ministers.
The problem "isn''t the furnaces in Florange, it''s Mittal", Arnaud Montebourg, the Minister of Industrial Renewal, told French business daily Les Echos..
According to the report, ArcelorMittal Chairman Lakshmi Mittal is expected to meet with President Francois Hollande on Tuesday to discuss the group''s operations in France.
The talks come ahead of a deadline on Saturday, which Mittal gave the state to find a buyer for the two idled blast furnaces in Florange, a traditional steel town in north-eastern France.