France will do all it can to save jobs at a threatened ArcelorMittal steel plant and partners may be interested in keeping it open, Economy Minister Christine Lagarde said on Sunday.
"Our main aim is to maintain employment to ensure people keep their jobs. There could be some partners interested," Lagarde said on France Inter radio.
Plans for a partial shutdown of the Gandrange steel factory in eastern France were postponed this year after President Nicolas Sarkozy urged owner Lakshmi Mittal to reconsider.
But unions said on Sunday the company had made up its mind to shut down part of the factory with the loss of 595 out of 1,100 jobs. They said they had been notified that these plans would be announced to staff at a works meeting on Friday.