The French politician who said Indian steel company ArcelorMittal should leave the country has told CNBC that his government is only acting like U.S. President Barack Obama.
Industry Minister Arnaud Montebourg, a member of the governing Socialist party, caused controversy last week when he said that the Indian company, which employs close to 20,000 people in France, should leave after it said it would have to close down a factory.
The French government announced on Thursday that it could nationalize the factory in question, with backing from an unnamed businessman.
The news raised the specter of the nationalizations of the early 1980s, which were instigated by Hollande's predecessor Francois Mitterrand.
Montebourg told CNBC after a meeting with trade unions in Paris: "Barack Obama's nationalized. The Germans are nationalizing. All countries are nationalizing. I've also noticed the British nationalized 6 banks."
(Read More: Is Obama a Socialist? )
Montebourg is believed to be referring to the takeover of struggling automakers by the U.S. government earlier in the financial crisis.
Lakshmi Mittal, the tycoon who leads ArcelorMittal, met with Montebourg's boss, Socialist President Francois Hollande earlier in the week, but the men appeared to have failed to resolve the issue.
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