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Terrible magnate

On May 13, individuals and groups from from Kazakhstan, the Czech Republic, South Africa, Romania and the us gathered at Luxembourg for ArcelorMittal’s annual general meeting with a long list of complaints against the world’s largest steel company. Charges of pollution, bad safety record, forceful eviction and little or no information sharing with communities rent the air as ArcelorMittal’s directors began taking stock of the company’s fortunes.
 
Mittal’s success has been predicated on weak national laws and political wrangling. In the last three decades the company has bought up run-down state-owned steel factories in Trinidad, Mexico, Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, South Africa and Algeria. The cost of its success has largely been paid for by communities living and working near Mittal’s plants. The steel giant has also benefited from tax exemptions or reductions in several countries including Kazakhstan and the Czech Republic prompting many to ask: why can’t the largest steel company in the world afford to pay full taxes?
 
Mittal Steel has also received low-interest loans from the International Finance Corporation and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. These banks are indeed mandated to contribute to the development of the private sector. But the emphasis of their mandate is on small and medium enterprises and projects, which cannot attract finances from other sources.
 
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Update : 14-04-2017

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