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France agrees deal to save Florange steelworks

France agrees deal to save Florange steelworks
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In France, the government has struck a deal with steel giant ArcelorMittal to keep open the firm’s Florange plant in the north of the country.

Paris had threatened to nationalise the site after Mittal said earlier this year the facility was no longer viable. The agreement saves 600 jobs.

Prime Minister Jean Marc-Ayrault said: ‘‘Tonight I can announce there will be no layoffs at Florange. The Mittal group has committed to investing at least 180 million euros in Florange over the next five years. The Florange facility’s future has been secured and will not have a negative impact on similar sites in France.’‘

The announcement will surely be a relief to the plant’s workers, some of whom camped outside the French Finance Ministry to wait for the final decision.

The deal also appears to save face for Socialist President François Hollande, who made an election pledge to fight industrial layoffs.