Ascoval: the "vigilant" government wants to "protect" the employees

The French government is "vigilant" and gives priority to the protection of employees of the steelmaker Ascoval, after the announcement of financial difficulties of its British buyer British Steel, said Wednesday the Secretary of State Agnès Pannier-Runacher.

"The first subject is to protect employees and to ensure that this site is given an industrial future," said the State Secretary on BFM Business. "We will be vigilant as we have always been with Ascoval," she added.

Faced with the risk of bankruptcy of British Steel, Mrs. Pannier-Runacher spoke about the discussions between the steelmaker and the British government which, according to her, "may not be happy besides that British Steel takes over Ascoval".

She pointed out that the British group had taken over the French plant "because they have problems in the UK market" because of uncertainties related to Brexit.

"We were aware that they had a difficult situation in terms of results on their British sites, this is one of the reasons why they are taking over Ascoval, and in France they have access to the EU." she explained.

After the revelations of the British press, British Steel confirmed "to continue discussions about new financial support to help the group to address the problems related to Brexit while continuing its investment projects", in a statement sent to AFP.

British Steel also wanted to reassure the recovery of the French steel maker Ascoval, which is effective Wednesday.

The French Ministry of the Economy took note of this decision and confirmed that it would bring "its share of the negotiated financing", that is to say 25 million euros.

In early May, the District Court of Strasbourg had entrusted to British Steel the takeover of the Ascoval steelworks in Saint-Saulve (North) which employs 270 people.

15/05/2019 23:51:50 –
Paris (AFP) –
© 2019 AFP

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