Mr Eder, president of Eurofer and also CEO of voestalpine, said that the majority of European steel producers are opposed to subsidies to support the European steel industry during this difficult time in the EU.

He said, “I am absolutely opposed to subsidies because they only make things worse.” Approximately 70% of Eurofer members are in agreement.

The issue was raised in the context of the socialist government of France’s reaction to Arcelor-Mittal’s decision to idle plants in France, which triggered discussions inside the European Commission about a ‘plan to help’ the struggling steel industry. The French government had previously threatened to re-nationalize the operations until it could find a buyer, but backed off that idea.

Also, in Belgium, the regional government of Wallona is considering whether to nationalise Arcelor-Mittal’s steel operations in Liège. ArcelorMittal plans to shut down most of the facilities there, costing 1300 jobs.