France

French Government Leans on Steel Company To Restart Furnaces

Because ordering companies to be competitive always works

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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 Francois 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 during campaigning for May's presidential election.

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.