PARIS Feb 24 Businesses that close plants
deemed to be still economically viable face fines under a new
law adopted by the French parliament on Monday.
The so-called "Florange Law" was named after an
ArcelorMittal steelworks in the north eastern French
town where the plant's imminent closure became a symbol of
Francois Hollande's 2012 presidential campaign.
It obliges the head of any enterprise with more than 1,000
employees who wants to close down a plant to spend three months
looking for a buyer first.
Failure to do so will result in a fine amounting to 28,000
euros ($38,400) per job lost, up to a limit of 2 percent of
The Florange plant did eventually close, but the law fulfils
a promise President Hollande made in a speech to its workers at
It has attracted criticism from both sides of the fierce
debate over industrial policy in the country. Employers' groups
say the law contradicts Hollande's pledge to be more business
friendly, while trade unions say it does not go far enough to
protect French workers.
($1 = 0.7285 euros)
(Reporting by Andrew Callus, editing by David Evans)