France —- Killing The Messenger


French minister says Mittal “not welcome” in France

PARIS (Reuters) – Steelmaker Mittal, which acquired France’s Arcelor in 2006, is no longer welcome in France due to years of broken promises, Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said on Monday, intensifying the row over plans to close two furnaces in northeastern France.

Montebourg’s attack on ArcelorMittal <ISPA.AS> risks exacerbating tensions in a dispute that is central to Socialist President Francois Hollande’s efforts to save jobs and reverse years of industrial decline.

ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steelmaker, has said it will shut down two blast furnaces at Florange from December 1 unless the government can find a buyer to operate them.

“We no longer want Mittal in France because they haven’t respected France,” Montebourg said in an interview with Les Echos business daily published on Monday.

A source close to Lakshmi Mittal, told Reuters that management were “very shocked” at Montebourg’s words.

“These are quite violent declarations against a company which employs 20,000 people in France,” the source said.

Failure to save jobs at Florange would add to a list of industrial shutdowns, including a Peugeot PSA <PEUP.PA> production site near Paris, and risks deepening fears in the public that the government is powerless to save jobs.

Shrewdly played Mr. Montebourg.  Mittal so much wants to remain in France, they’re shutting down two furnaces there.  I can’t imagine why unemployment is up so high in France.  Well, France’s loss is someone else’ gain.  Maybe president Zero would…….. naw, never mind. 

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8 Responses to France —- Killing The Messenger

  1. tckev says:

    Maybe they would take on the Tata Steel plants at Port Talbot in South Wales.

    The workforce there is so much better!

  2. leftinbrooklyn says:

    But at least, unemployment is so green.

  3. kelly liddle says:

    The rhetoric does not sound good but actions speak louder than words and it has been stated previously that these failing parts of the French steel industry will not be propped up. Now if this is true then the actions are less socialist than Aus in respect to steel. It is likely they are old innefficient furnaces that in an open market should be shut. Their might be an argument made that they should build new efficient furnaces but why would any company do that when it is widely considered that there is excess capacity. When I see innefficient industries shut that actually makes me happy as I will be the one paying for them if they are not shut. This is a drain on the economy and means higher taxes for others and poor allocation of capital. The free market does work and the extra money available will go elsewhere.

    There is one aspect though that is not considered at times and that is in Western countries short term investment decisions are made which can at times mean money is not allocated very well especially when the government makes it too easy to make money elsewhere like in the case of the US the massive debt markets and questionable activities by the Fed. In other words why would a banker bother working with business if all he has to do is borrow some money for nothing and lend it to the government? Remember that the US govts are the only serious game in town domestically They control over 40% of the market in one way or another as that is government spending.

    • suyts says:

      Yeh, that’s why I titled it “killing the messenger”. Businesses operate to make a profit. They will keep people hired and facilities opened as long as they are profitable. Once they quit being profitable, they’ll close them down. There’s nothing for the French to get angry about.

  4. philjourdan says:

    Governments seek power. And free enterprise is the antithesis of their power. So they seek to control it – and as long as they have options, it will never happen. When a one world government is achieved, then they can dictate to companies. In the mean time, all they are doing is cutting off their nose to spite their face.

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