French President Hollande to host ArcelorMittal chief amid spat with steel giant

French industrial minister backs off earlier comments that accused world’s biggest steelmaker of “lies”.

Comments Off November 27, 2012 at 3:04 pm by

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.

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.”

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.

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