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No confidence in ArcelorMittal: French Minister

Last Updated: Monday, December 3, 2012 - 00:12

Zeebiz Bureau

Paris: After averting nationalization of its Florange plant in France, a French minister Sunday said that there are doubts whether ArcelorMittal will keep its end of the bargain.

French Ecology Minister Delphine Batho told iTele network that Mittal has not kept his promises in the past, though there may now be an agreement but there is no confidence.

"The arm-wrestling with Mittal will continue to ensure that the pledges are respected," Batho said.

ArcelorMittal has committed to the socialist French government it will not lay off any worker at the steel facility and make a fresh investment of 180 million euros (USD 233.6 million).

The world's largest steel maker, owned by India-born tycoon Lakshmi Mittal, has 2,700 employees at the entire plant situated in the North-Eastern part of the country.

Also, the company will not shut down two blast furnaces at the Florange facility which will retain about 650 workers whose jobs were under threat.

The French government and ArcelorMittal had locked horns for months over the fate of the Florange facility. The dispute escalated last week when the French government had threatened to nationalise the company's assets in the country.

Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg had said that the multinational is no longer welcome in the country, as per media reports.

In a meeting earlier this week, French President Francois Hollande had told Mittal that the government would consider temporary nationalisation of the plant if the company didn't recall its decision to close the blast furnaces or refused to sell the facility to a competitor.

With Agency Inputs

First Published: Monday, December 3, 2012 - 00:11
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