Steelmaking giant ArcelorMittal said on Thursday that it would shut down six cold-processing facilities in the Liege region of eastern Belgium in a decision that will affect 1,300 jobs, owing to worsening conditions on the European steel market.
The steel group said that it realised that this would cause serious difficulties for staff and for the region and undertook to seek a socially acceptable solution for those affected.
In Davos, Switzerland, Belgian Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo said that he would tell the head of ArcelorMittal, Lakshmi Mittal, of the "incomprehension" of Belgian authorities about the decision.
"I support the workers. That is the first message this afternoon when I meet Lakshmi Mittal," he said on his Twitter social network account from Davos where he is attending the World Economic Forum.