French minister says 'no confidence' in Lakshmi Mittal, expects him to break 'promise'

Lakshmi Mittal

The government responded by threatening to nationalise the entire site, which contains facilities to produce higher-end products that ArcelorMittal wanted to keep.

Paris said it could not find a buyer for just the furnaces.

Under Friday's deal, the two blast furnaces ArcelorMittal had closed would be left intact until EU financing was confirmed for an existing carbon-capture project, while ArcelorMittal agreed not to proceed with forced job cuts.

The dispute had left President Francois Hollande's government caught between a pledge to protect jobs and the need to improve industrial competitiveness in the face of rising unemployment and stagnant growth.

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