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August 12, 2022

Mittal, strategic negotiations with Ponta, Basescu in Bucharest

Steel-maker Sidex based in Galati (eastern Romania) is very important to ArcelorMittal, which wants to be part of the Romanian industry, the company’s President Lakshmi Mittal told Romanian President Traian Basescu, who greeted him at the presidential Cotroceni Palace Friday. “Sidex is very important to ArcelorMittal and we are determined to be part of the Romanian industry. At the same time, the macro-economic situation in Europe is not very good”, Mittal said in the beginning of the meeting with the Romanian leader. He told Basescu there is a 30 percent drop in the European steel demand as compared to the pre-crisis period. He explained that in the case of the United States, one can speak of a similar demand to the pre-economic crisis time. ”I am glad to see you in Bucharest. It is a pleasure for me to swap views of the steel industry with you”, Basescu said and he pointed out to Mittal that the European Union is still undergoing downturn. Mittal replied: “My comment is that the European crisis can be resolved if we had the United States of Europe instead of the European Council”. Basescu stressed he too backs the idea of the United States of Europe. ”I am convinced of it and I have just discussed the issue with Stratfor (company) chairman and I very much back the idea of the United States of Europe”, the Romanian head of state underscored.
The same day, Lakshmi Mittal also had talks on the price of energy with PM Victor Ponta at Victoria Palace, the PM having previously stated his concern about the position Romania was going to take at the following European Council on energy. According to a Government release, in the context of the analysis of the activity of the ArcelorMittal group in Europe, proposals for improving the efficiency of the activity at ArcelorMittal Galati, including solutions for optimising production costs, were addressed.
‘The president of ArcelorMittal expressed hope that the investment environment in Romania would remain attractive and that sustainable solutions would be identified, primarily in the field of energy. Prime Minister Victor Ponta affirmed the support of the Romanian Government in an efficient and long term activity of the ArcelorMittal group in Romania, as well as Romania’s interest in consolidating its competitive advantages in respect of foreign investment, particularly in the sector of steel industry’, a release states. At the same time, according to the quoted source, the prime minister assured the president of ArcelorMittal that, in the context, he would have in view ‘the issues raised and implications on competitiveness, presented during their meeting’. PM Ponta also reminded of the approach to energy at the upcoming European Council the following week, where the ramifications of those policies on other sectors, especially European energy-intensive industries, was going to be on the agenda.
Local council taxes not to affect ArcelorMittal Galati work
Dan Nica, Minister for the Information Society and Galati MP in the lower chamber of the Romanian Parliament, also attended the meeting with the head of the ArcelorMittal group. He said Galati Local Council had no intention to raise local taxes in the following five years, and by that to hurt the financial activity of ArcelorMittal Galaţi, according to hotnews.ro. ‘A request made by Mr. Mittal and his delegation was for predictability (…) in the implementation of a plan of measures to support ArcelorMittal’s economic competitiveness. Such measures will be implemented and assessed in the coming period, all the more so as many of them are in line with existing European regulations and we appreciated the fact that they made no requests outside the European framework’, Nica said.

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