French unions brand 'steel deal' a betrayal
John Lichfield has been The Independent's man in Paris since 1997, covering French news. Before that, he was the paper's Foreign Editor and he has also worked in Brussels and Washington. In 1999, he was the UK press Awards Foreign Reporter of the year.
Wednesday 05 December 2012
The “secret” deal that ended a threat by the French government to nationalise a steel plant in Lorraine has infuriated unions and even some cabinet ministers.
Union leaders spoke of “betrayal” and “amateurism” when they met the Prime Minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault, to protest against the agreement with the steel billionaire, Lakshmi Mittal.
Small print of the deal, leaked to Le Monde, suggests that the government dropped its threat to nationalise the ArcelorMittal steel complex in Florange in return for modest and vague promises.
The government said last Friday that ArcelorMittal had agreed to invest €180m (£146m) over five years and preserve the 630 jobs threatened by plans to close two blast furnaces. The confidential agreement obtained by Le Monde suggests that less than one-third of this represents new investment by the British-based tycoon. ArcelorMittal promised to mothball the furnaces for possible use in an EU-funded project. The leaked agreement reveals that the steel company has little faith the project will go ahead.
- 1 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 2 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 3 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 4 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Senior British politicians tell David Cameron: When dead children are being washed up on beaches, it's time to act
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This recognized leader in providing software s...
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...