Industrial-recovery minister wants ArcelorMittal out of France, accusing steel giant of 'lies'

France's new government minister for industrial recovery says he wants international steel giant ArcelorMittal out of the country.

ArcelorMittal infuriated many on the French left and beyond by announcing Oct. 1 that it planned to stop the furnaces at its plant in the northeastern town of Florange. It gave the French government 60 days to find a new owner.

Arnaud Montebourg was quoted in business daily Les Echos on Monday as saying the trouble "isn't the furnaces in Florange, it's Mittal." He said ArcelorMittal's "lies since 2006 are overwhelming" and "we don't want Mittal in France anymore because they haven't respected France."

The comments could fan new questions about the commitment to free enterprise of Montebourg's boss, President Francois Hollande. The Socialist Hollande defeated conservative incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in May.

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