Lakshmi Mittal's ArcelorMittal, France target steelworks compromise
The compromise could save face for Hollande's government, which is struggling to stem a glut of industrial layoffs and has faced criticism from business leaders this week over its threat to nationalise Florange.
Alternatively the state could carry out plans to acquire the whole site with a private co-investor and seek to revamp the idled furnaces using European Union credits to produce environmentally friendly steel, Les Echos added.
Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg, who shocked foreign investors this week by saying Arcelor's Indian CEO Lakshmi Mittal was no longer welcome in France, has said an unnamed industrialist was ready to inject 400 million euros into the site.
Montebourg huddled in a cafe with a group of orange-vested metal workers protesting near the finance ministry early on Friday, telling them that nationalisation was still an option.
"He told us that he was not in control of the Elysee's (Hollande's office) agenda but he thinks that a deal will not come today and is more likely tomorrow," Edouard Martin, head of the CFDT trade union's Florange chapter, said.
Recalling Hollande's pledge to save jobs at Florange when he met workers there while campaigning for president, Martin added: "Make sure he doesn't forget the merguez (sausage) he ate with us at Florange on February 24 - he'll understand."
Hollande is wary of the stigma that even a temporary nationalisation would carry abroad and prefers an intermediate solution
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