Friday 7 December 2012
So how's that Socialism working out for you, France?
There are though some side effects. One being that people who own your industry don't take kindly to being abused and then tend to think of ways to retaliate. Lakshmi Mittal is one. Now Mittal was born into a dir poor family in Indian and now is one of the world's wealthiest men. Perhaps the biggest move of social circumstances by anyone in history? Now I very much doubt he did this without happening to be immensely clever. So attacking him would always ahve consequences.
The French have been very upset he may close a steel mill at Florange for sometime and there has been much hand-wringing about this - and much criticism of Mittal. So what is his response, firstly to close another plant elsewhere but also to pull out of a key piece of research into new technology that would enable Florange to stay open.
It's a high stakes game when Government take on multi-national billionaires I feel - and not something that should be done lightly. After all Mittal has to date saved the french steel industry (well, its remnants) and kept lots of jobs in France and made money. What are the French to do, nationalise it? It's a very slippery road and we will be well advised to point our politicians to look at France since the Hollande victory and its very rapid fall into difficulties due to some rather pointed ideological campaigns that are making international investors run for the hill