Union attacks French government over threat to Lakshmi Mittal's ArcelorMittal
Some of them also recalled the opposition he faced from Arcelor executives and French interests during his contested takeover of the company in 2006.
"This is not socialism, this is racism," the Indian site Firstpost said in an article.
"ArcelorMittal is not the first to cut jobs in France. Peugeot has announced 8,000 job cuts in France, Sanofi 900 and Carrefour 500-600," it said referring to blue-chip French companies.
Hollande had dangled the threat of nationalisation just minutes before his one-to-one talks Tuesday with the India-born Mittal, which the government spokeswoman said had been "frank and firm."
ArcelorMittal argues that the blast furnaces at Florange are uncompetitive in current market conditions, partly because they are too far from ports for transportation.
The company has warned that nationalisation of the plant would cast doubt on the future of all its operations in France, where it employs 20,000 people.
The French government meanwhile wants the company to guarantee the estimated 650 jobs on the line.
Montebourg caused controversy earlier in the week when he said Mittal was not welcome in France, comments that were quickly disowned by his colleagues and from which he subsequently backtracked.
But the minister, widely regarded as a loose cannon\ whose mantra to promote 'Made in France' has even seen him pose in a Breton sailor top for a popular magazine, said on Wednesday that an investor in the business is interested in buying Florange.
"We have a buyer, who is a steelman, an industrialist, who is not a financier, who wants to invest his own money and who is ready to put almost 400 million euros into renovating this plant," Montebourg told deputies.
A group of socialist members of parliament has objected that Mittal does not have French interests at heart.
The government's stance is being closely watched by investors and London's irrepressible mayor Boris Johnson seized upon the row to invite fleeing businessmen to the British capital.
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