Extracts from the press conference by Antonio Tajani on ArcelorMittal following his meeting with Lakshmi Mittal
End production: 19/02/2013 First transmission: 19/02/2013
On 19 February 2013, Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship, gave a press conference after his meeting with Lakshmi Mittal, President of the Board and CEO of Mittal Steel.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||General view of the press conference
||Soundbite by Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Industry and Entrepreneurship (in FRENCH) saying that regarding steel, there is news. They discussed the steel crisis during the Council meeting and after that this afternoon, he met Mr Mittal from Arcelor-Mittal Group. This meeting came after the public call that he launched a week ago. Saying that he would remind everyone that there is a joined initiative from 3 governments: France, Belgium and Luxembourg and on the basis of that he called upon Arcelor-Mittal to back the launch of the steel plan planned for June 2013 before taking decisions regarding the sites in Liège and Florange.
Saying that one hour ago, he received the text of the press release of Arcelor-Mittal. After his call, the company has taken the following 3 commitments:
- The sites in Florange and Liège won't be closed; there will be a reduction in capacity with an investment plan of 180 million euro for Florange and some 140 million for Liège. The 2 sites will become highly specialized in top end products for the car industry or for packaging.
- Secondly, the staff of Florange and Liège who will be affected by the capacity reduction will have the possibility on a voluntary basis to be sent to other sites because the group does have other sites in France and Belgium.
- Thirdly, Arcelor-Mittal has committed that there will be no further restructuring plan in Europe whilst we wait for the adoption of the European Steel Plan.
Saying that he would also draw the attention to these commitments because the group has a high number of workers in Europe in various Member States; a week ago, he launched a call and today the number one producer in Europe has given him a specific commitment. Now this is certainly a step in the right direction. Saying that he thinks that other actors like governments and trade unions also need to take steps in the right direction. Saying that they need to work together to get over this crisis, they all have to make an effort. For its part, the European Commission is determined in its commitment to develop the European Steel Plan and he is planning to get that adopted in June. He launched this public call to Arcelor-Mittal but he is doing the same with other European operators. He does not want to interfere in company decision quite on the contrary and he is the first to defend the freedom of business in Europe. However it's important that they highlight the importance of the action plan that they are working on which will contain useful measures for the steel sector.
Saying that he calls upon Member States industry and unions to work together on this new strategy for the future.
Finally a more general political comment, the European projects were put on the basis of coal and steel; however after the expiration of the Treaty in 2002 these sectors were left to their fate to a certain extent and it is high time that they find some interest for steel again because they need steel, not just for car manufacturing but also so that they can make the most of green growth. Steel remains a key strategy for Europe and they have to work so they can overcome this crisis together. Saying that President Barroso has quite rightly asked to focus the efforts on growth, jobs and competitiveness; so, they are going to get down to work right now to develop an ambitious plan for steel in the future.
||Cutaway of the audience