Domenica, 21 Ottobre 2018

Govt to issue decree on revamping ILVA steelworks


Rome, June 4 - The government is planning to issue
a decree "that would temporarily commandeer" the troubled ILVA
steelworks in southern Italy, allowing it to operate according
to government regulations, Industry Minister Flavio Zanonato
said Tuesday.
Zanonato, who was entering the House to discuss a court
ruling granting permission to use the plant's confiscated
smelting areas Monday, said the cabinet will meet Tuesday to
review the long-awaited decree to salvage the Taranto plant,
save thousands of jobs and 40% of the country's steel
Premier Enrico Letta's government reportedly may also
appoint a special commissioner for the plant's cleanup and
The new 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
The Taranto judge had challenged the constitutionality of
the so-called "Save Ilva" decree, passed in December, which
the 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.
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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