Revolt to save the steel industry

Published on 14 October 2011 at 10:34


Following the announcement of the definitive closure of the two blast furnaces in Liege on October 12 by the world's number-one steel producer, ArcelorMittal India, the latter has become “the detonator of social fatigue”, leads Le Soir. Out of the 3000 people employed by the ArcelorMittal group in Liege, one of the cradles of the European steel industry, some 600 will be directly affected by this closure. Belgian unions are mobilising to protest “the gangsters’ methods” of the group, which is expected to rake in more than three billion euros in profit this year.

Coming hard on the heels of the Dexia affair, the shut-down of Liège is a “hard return to reality,” notes the editor of Le Soir, Béatrice Delvaux: “This Belgium, cut off from the world, was living as if our only problems on earth were how to split up a district [the BHV] and how to protect the Flemings from having to live with Francophones…. With Dexia, we are victims of a rogue financial capitalism that has lived off of bubbles, lies and deceptions and that has suddenly lost its footing. With Arcelor, we are being hit by the polar shift in growth around the world: an Indian group, capitalist after our own fashion, decided to wipe us off its map of production plants. A country that is booming is bypassing a country sunk into decadence.”

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