Martedì, 18 Settembre 2018

Taranto judge permits operation of ILVA smelting areas


Taranto, June 3 - A judge in the southern Italian
city of Taranto has granted permission to the troubled ILVA
steelworks to use its confiscated smelting areas, the company
and police were informed on Monday.
The ruling made by Patrizia Todisco also confirms the
legitimacy of the court-ordered seizure made on July 26, and
subjects the plant to close environmental monitoring and tight
deadlines as it operates.
The ruling marks a partial victory for the government in a
row with the court over whether the plant - accused of damaging
health and the environment with billowing toxic emissions - can
continue to run as it undertakes major clean-up measures the
government agreed would permit it to continue operating.
The Taranto judge had challenged the constitutionality of
the so-called ''Save Ilva'' decree, passed in December, which
the Italian government amended specifically to overrule a
court-ordered partial shutdown.
The judge's constitutional challenges were found to be in
part inadmissable and in part unfounded.
A long-awaited decree to salvage the Taranto plant, save
thousands of jobs and 40% of the country's steel production will
be proposed by June 5, the government said Friday.
Premier Enrico Letta's government may also appoint a
special commissioner for the plant's cleanup and management.
ILVA has been at the centre of a political and legal
battle since July when local magistrates ordered the partial
closure of its Taranto plant due to serious health concerns.
Saving ILVA, a plant that produces almost all of the
country's steel for the automotive, shipping and domestic
appliance industries, as well as provides jobs for around 20,000
workers, has become a priority for Letta's government.
The company is also plagued by probes into the Riva
family, whose holding controls the plant, for suspected fraud
against the State and fake money transfers.
Last week government officials tried to reassure tens of
thousands of workers at the troubled company that ILVA workers
would be taken care of after police seized 9.3 billion euros
worth of assets belonging to the steel group's owners and ILVA's
board of directors resigned en masse, including the company's
chairman and its CEO.
The Riva group is the biggest iron and steel producer in
Italy, the fourth-biggest in Europe and the 23rd-biggest in the
The Taranto plant is the biggest in Europe.

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