French President François Hollande and steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal have vowed to continue talking over the future of a plant in the north-east of the country.
The owner of ArecelorMittal met the president at the Elysee Palace having theatened to shut down part of the site at Florange unless a buyer for two furnaces is found by the weekend.
Hollande has threatened in turn to nationalise the plant.
“What we want is for the site to have a future,” he said before his meeting with the steel boss.
In Parliament some opposition figures are among a growing number of supporters for a proposal by the industry minister for the state to take temporary control.
Our correspondent in Paris Giovanni Magi said:
“It wouldn’t be the first time that the French government uses the technical solution of temporary nationalisation for reviving an industrial company. And in this case Hollande’s government could have – and this is indeed a novelty – even the opposition’s consent.”