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French govt in `tug-of-war' with steel giant - FRANCE - FRANCE 24

The French government urged ArcelorMittal on Thursday to restart idled blast furnaces at a plant in northeastern France or put them up for sale, declaring itself in a "tug-of-war" with the steel giant over their fate.

President François Hollande held talks with ArcelorMittal's chief executive after a media report that the firm will shut the furnaces at a plant which became symbolic of France's industrial decline.

Speaking to angry workers at the plant in the town of Florange, Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said Hollande had called on Lakshmi Mittal to invest 150 million euros in the site or sell the furnaces.

"We are now in a conflict with ArcelorMittal," Montebourg said in a speech frequently interrupted by jeers. "It's a difficult tug-of-war."

by In Wales (inwales aaat eurotrib.com) on Thu Sep 27th, 2012 at 04:28:49 PM EST
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