London mayor mocks France for anti-Mittal stance

Last Updated: Tue, Nov 27, 2012 15:33 hrs

Mocking the French government for asking steel giant ArcelorMittal to leave France, London Mayor Boris Johnson, who is on a visit here, on Tuesday said "sans-culottes"(working class militants) "appear to have captured" Paris.

Describing a 115-metre ArcelorMittal steel tower - Orbit - at the Olympics Park in London as fusion of friendship between India and UK, Johnson said, "I say this on a day when I picked up a newspaper and I see sans-culottes appear to have captured the government of Paris and a French Minister has been so eccentric as to call for a massive investor to depart".

Sans-culottes were the radical left-wing urban working class who dominated France during the French Revolution of 1789. The London Mayor was speaking to Indian industry leaders at a Ficci meeting here seeking investment for world's leading financial centre.

French industrial renewal minister Arnaud Montebourg had reportedly told a French daily, "We do not want ArcelorMittal in France any longer because they do not respect France."

The French minister was also quoted as having stated, " Mittal's lies since 2006 are damning (it) "has never honoured its commitments" to the country.

ArcelorMittal has shut down blast furnaces in Florange, eastern France, but wants to maintain its other activities there, reports said.

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