Enterprise and Industry Commissioner Antonio Tajani announced, on 19 February, that he has obtained a commitment from Lakshmi Mittal, president of the steel group ArcelorMittal, to a moratorium on restructuring until June 2013 - when the European Commission will adopt an action plan to bail out the steel sector.
Following a meeting of the High-Level Roundtable on the Future of the European Steel Industry, on 12 February, Tajani asked ArcelorMittal to suspend restructuring measures while waiting for the EU strategy to be published. On 19 February, at the close of a meeting between Tajani and Mittal, the latter agreed not to close the sites at Florange, France, and Liege in Belgium, although there will still be a reduction in capacity. An investment plan, which has been announced to the French and Belgian governments, will inject 180 million into Florange and 140 million into Liege, and these two sites will specialise in top-of-the-range products. The staff affected by the reduction in capacity will have the option of moving to other sites, and the group has announced to 98,000 workers that there will be no more restructuring plans between now and June.
"I cannot - and neither do I want to-a interfere with companies' decisions, but I can emphasise the importance of the action plan we are preparing, which will contain useful measures for the steel sector. I invite member states, industry and trade unions to work together," said Tajani.
In reality, these announcements do not contain anything...