“Mittals have not respected France”

Arnaud Montebourg, the French Minister for Industrial Renewal, has reiterated his earlier remarks against the Mittal family saying: “When I say we do not want the Mittals in France I mean we no longer want Mittal’s methods in France. Methods that fail to respect commitments made, methods of blackmail and threats. The problem of the blast furnaces in Florange is not that of the blast furnaces but that of Mittal.”

Accusing the Mittal family of trotting out lies, Mr. Montebourg said: “The lies they have told since 2006 are devastating.”

The Minister made these remarks after the Mittal family had expressed “extreme shock” over his earlier attacks in which he said: “We do not want the Mittals in France because they have not respected France.”

Mr. Montebourg also said the French state could “temporarily nationalise” the steel plant in Florange, north-eastern France because the blast furnaces have been shut down by the Mittal family.

The chairman of Arcelor Mittal, Lakshmi Mittal, is scheduled to meet President Hollande to discuss the fate of the plant in Paris on Tuesday, just a few days ahead of a Saturday deadline that could result in a total shutdown of the plant.

He has threatened to close down all Arcelor Mittal plants in France if there is any attempt at nationalisation.

Last October Mr. Mittal had promised Mr. Hollande that he would find a buyer for the site. But he does not wish to sell the entire plant, just the blast furnaces, which he has shut down for good.

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