French minister wants Mittal out of France


Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 01:06

FRANCE-ARCELOR-LAKSHMI-MITTAL:French minister wants Mittal out of France

By Nicholas Vinocur and Yann Le Guernigou, moneycontrol.com
PARIS (Reuters) – Steelmaker Mittal, which acquired France’s Arcelor in 2006, is no longer wanted in France due to years of broken promises, Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg said on Monday, intensifying a row over plans to close two furnaces in northeastern France.

Montebourg’s attack on ArcelorMittal, which he later qualified, 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.

It came after Montebourg, one of the most left-wing ministers in the government, said last week France could nationalise the company’s Florange site on a temporary basis while the government tries to find a buyer.

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.

He said Chief Executive Lakshmi Mittal had told “shameful lies” since 2006 about the group’s plans and had not kept his promises to the French government.

“The problem with the blast furnaces at Florange is not the blast furnaces at Florange, it’s Mittal,” he said.

A source close to Indian-born Lakshmi Mittal, who according to French media is due to meet with Hollande on Tuesday, 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.

BACK-PEDALLING

Qualifying his statement later on Twitter, Montebourg said in a message that while ArcelorMittal’s methods were questionable, the group would continue to operate in France, where it has more than 100 industrial sites.

Montebourg’s back-pedalling was part of a pattern for the outspoken minister, who previously embarrassed the government by saying it would not allow Peugeot PSA <peup.pa>to close a plant near Paris, only to retract the pledge.

Libya‘s sovereign investment fund, which Montebourg said in November was interested in acquiring a Petroplus refinery in northern France, denied on Monday having expressed interest in the refinery, according to Libya’s Lana news agency.

The fate of Florange, situated in the former heart of French steel making country, became a symbol of France’s flagging industry during campaigning for the May election and is now a test of Hollande’s promise to reverse the decline.

Failure to save jobs at Florange would add to a list of industrial shutdowns, including Peugeot PSA’s production site, and risks deepening fears in the public that the government is powerless to save jobs.

Unemployment is at a 13-year high of over 10 percent and October jobless claims due on Tuesday are expected to show another increase.

A spokeswoman for Montebourg was not immediately available to comment. ArcelorMittal, which employs some 20,000 people across France, declined to comment.

Last week, Montebourg said the government had received two offers from buyers interested in acquiring more than just the two blast furnaces, but gave no further details.

ArcelorMittal has denied having received any such offers.

A source close to the company said plans to shut down blast furnaces including those at Florange pre-dated the merger between Arcelor and Mittal, which had never promised to keep the site operating when it signed the deal in 2006.

 

(Editing by Catherine Bremer and Sophie Hares)

 

Coalgate caused a loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore: CAG Report


 

Coalgate caused a loss of Rs 1.86 lakh crore: CAG

 

 

The CAG’s final report on the coal block allocations will be tabled in the Parliament today The report is not naming the Prime Minsiter’s Office (PMO) PMO or the states and the blame is put solely on the steering committee, reports CNBC-TV18’s Pallavi Ghosh quoting sources.

 

 $33 billion-Coal scam”report by CAG tabled today in the parliament that lists Tata group, Naveen Jindal group, Essar group, Abhijeet group, Laxmi Mittal‘s Arcelor and Vedanta among the beneficiaries.

 

The report on coal blocks allocation suggests that it could be an even bigger embarrassment than the 2G spectrum allocation scam with top private companies making a windfall of Rs 1.86 lakh crore due to lack of bidding.
The final draft of the CAG report on the coal blocks allocation, says that the allocation of captive coal mines from 2004 to 2006 was not transparent. Notably, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh held the Coal Ministry portfolio from 2006 to 2009.
It further said that a six-year delay in moving to competitive bidding led to huge losses to the state.
The CAG report lists Tata group, Naveen Jindal group, Essar group, Abhijeet group, Laxmi Mittal’s Arcelor and Vedanta among the beneficiaries.
However, CAG does not mention the role of the PMO and state governments in the coal blocks allocation.
The auditing watchdog has blamed the steering committee recommendations that gave away captive coal mines without bidding.
The CAG report has said that the delay in introducing competitive bidding, first suggested in 2004, led to major benefits to the private sector, but the rules for auction only got finalised six years later in 2012 after a series of controversies.
Till 2004 June, only 39 blocks were allotted, but in order to improve the production, 142 allotments were made between July 2004 and 2006 to private and government companies.
The CAG says the allocation made by the steering committee was not transparent and helped many private players. As many as 15 blocks given to private players did not even start production till March 2011.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) is also investigating the coal scam. Initial reports of the investigating agency suggest they are looking at the role of state governments in allocating without bidding.
(With inputs from Ibnlive.com)

 

Archives

Kractivism-Gonaimate Videos

Protest to Arrest

Faking Democracy- Free Irom Sharmila Now

Faking Democracy- Repression Anti- Nuke activists

JAPA- MUSICAL ACTIVISM

Kamayaninumerouno – Youtube Channel

UID-UNIQUE ?

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 6,234 other followers

Top Rated

Blog Stats

  • 1,760,267 hits

Archives

September 2019
M T W T F S S
« Jun    
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30  
%d bloggers like this: