Sabato 04 Luglio 2020 | 12:13

Il Biancorosso

SERIE C
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Milan

A.Mittal file suit to get out of ex-ILVA

Conte asks ministers to brainstorm converting Taranto steelworks

A.Mittal file suit to get out of ex-ILVA

Milan, November 12 - ArcelorMittal on Tuesday filed suit to get out of their contract to take over the former ILVA steel works including its Taranto plant, the biggest in Europe - as Premier Giuseppe Conte asked ministers to brainstorm ways of converting the controversial plant. The suit arrived on the table of the president of the Milan court, Roberto Bichi, who will now assign it to one of two sections specialised in business cases, judicial sources said. The former ILVA group's three extraordinary commissioners say in an appeal to be filed later this week that the juridical conditions do not exist for the Franco-Indian steel giant, the world's largest, to pull out of the takeover deal. ArcelorMittal has said it needs to pull out citing the lifting of a 'penal shield' protecting a cleanup of the highly polluting Taranto works and the necessity of shedding 5,000 workers across the group, which employs over 8,000 people at Taranto and some 3,000 more at Genoa and Novi Ligure. The government is split on restoring the shield with many in the anti-establishment 5-Star Movement (M5S), led by Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, against providing protection for a plant whose pollution levels have been linked to high local cancer rates in and around Taranto. But Premier Conte and the M5S's ruling partner, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), are firmly in favour of bringing the shield back, provided ArcelorMittal agree to stay on. All parties in government, including ex-premier and former PD leader Matteo Renzi's new centrist Italia Viva (IV) party, are against the job cuts. There has been talk of the former ILVA group, which was once under state control before passing to the Riva group, being re-nationalised. But Economy Minister Roberto Gualtieri's squashed such talk Monday, saying "nationalisation is not on the cards. "It is an illusion". Howver, he did say a public partner, such as government bank CDP, was a "possibility". Any solution will have to continue to strike a balance between protecting the health of Tarantans and saving jobs at the sprawling plant, one of the biggest in Europe. Premier Conte said in an interview published Monday in Italian daily La Repubblica that he will ask ministers to brainstorm solutions to convert the Taranto plant if no plan for its survival as a steelworks succeed. Conte said the government will soon have another meeting with ArcelorMittal executives and announced a "legal battle" involving a preventative procedure with the Court of Milan "to obtain a judicial check on the government's and A.Mittal's arguments and motives within 7 to 10 days". ArcelorMittal stopped offloading raw materials for its Taranto steelworks some days ago, unions said Monday. The decision is linked to the Franco-Indian group's plan to stop one of its production lines, the unions said. CEO Lucia Morselli last week said the plant would gradually shut down as ArcelorMittal implemented its plan to pull out of the deal to take over the works and the rest of the Italian steel group.

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