LONDON U.S. Steel Corp.
will likely exit its steelmaking plant at Koice,
Slovakia, though it would be better for the surrounding
regions stability if the Pittsburgh-based steelmaker
remained, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico said Tuesday.
"I worry that people will lose
their jobs, and that is troubling for the government," Fico
told journalists at a news conference, according to a statement
from the Slovak governments website.
Fico made the statement after a
meeting with David Rintoul, vice president of the
companys European operations and president of U.S. Steel
Koice SRO (USSK), to discuss U.S. Steels possible
pullout from the central European state.
A spokesman for the Slovak flat
steel producer confirmed in mid-November that the steelmaker
had received expressions of interest to acquire USSK (
amm.com, Nov. 14).
When asked to comment on
Ficos remarks Tuesday, a spokesman for USSK confirmed it
had seen interest for the operations but declined to comment
"U.S. Steel Corp. believes it is
prudent to explore this interest. At this time, we have nothing
more to report," he told AMM in an e-mail.
A spokeswoman for the Slovak
government would not confirm to AMM sister publication
Steel First other media reports that it had offered
concessions to U.S. Steel should it decide to remain in the
U.S. Steel is one of eastern
Slovakias largest employers and has a 13,000-strong work
force, the government said.
Incoming European Union
legislation that requires increased investment in the
environment, plus rising raw material costs, are making
steelmakers in Eastern Europe less competitive and are the
reason why U.S. Steel is considering an exit from the country,
the government also said.