President Francois Hollande has met with the chief of ArcelorMittal after a minister in his government suggested that the steel giant should be ousted from France.
Paris: President Francois Hollande has met with the chief of ArcelorMittal after a minister in his government suggested that the steel giant should be ousted from 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.
Hollande met with CEO Lakshmi Mittal on Tuesday to discuss the issue. Hollande said the government would consider nationalizing the plant to save it.
"It is part of the subjects of discussion," he said, according to the news agency Sipa.
A presidential statement said Hollande "asked that discussions between the state and the company continue" until a Saturday deadline to find a new investor for the site.
Industrial Recovery Minister Arnaud Montebourg earlier this week accused the company of lying to the government over its plan to shutter a blast furnace in the northeast town of Florange, threatening some 600 jobs.
The minister later sought to tone down his comments, telling reporters that ArcelorMittal's presence in France "was not in jeopardy."
French minister reportedly told a French daily, "We do not want ArcelorMittal in France any longer because they do not respect France."
The French minister was also quoted as having stated, "Mittal's lies since 2006 are damning (it) "has never honoured its commitments" to 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.
With PTI Inputs