BRATISLAVA Nov 20 U.S. Steel Corp. looks
determined to quit Slovakia whoever ends up bidding for its
business there, the Slovak prime minister said on Tuesday after
meeting the head of the company's local operations.
Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel said last week it had received
expressions of interest from investors eyeing its subsidiary in
the eastern Slovak town of Kosice.
It did not name the potential suitors or say what it would
do if a sale was not secured.
Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, whose government fears
heavy job losses in the town if the U.S. company were to leave,
said talks were still under way on a possible sale.
"I rather think they will sell and leave, based on the talks
(today with U.S. Steel)", Fico told reporters after his brief
meeting with U.S. Steel Kosice CEO David Rintoul in Bratislava.
Rintoul left the meeting without commenting on the talks.
U.S. Steel Kosice is the small euro zone nation's largest
private employer with 11,000 staff and is an important supplier
to the booming Slovak car industry, a key export sector.
The unemployment rate in the Kosice region was 21.3 percent
in October, far above the national average of 13.69 percent.