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Italian government passes decree to save ILVA steel plant
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Saturday, 01 Dec 2012

ANSA reported that the Italian government Friday approved a decree that aims to make it possible to keep the troubled ILVA steel plant in Taranto operating while a clean up operation takes place.

According to the decree, a government appointed official will monitor whether ILVA respects the terms of an environmental authorization (AIA) plan.

The decree was passed by the cabinet after the company said earlier this week that the plant risked "imminent" closure due to a criminal probe into an environmental scandal that saw several top managers arrested.

Italian premier Mr Mario Monti said that the decree would protect local people's health as well as the jobs of some 20,000 workers. He said “Some people have called this the save ILVA decree. I'd say it's a save the environment, health and jobs decree.”

The Taranto plant's furnaces were placed under special administration in July following accusations emissions from them caused abnormally high levels of tumours and respiratory diseases in the Taranto area. The decree aims to end a tussle between central government and local magistrates over whether the plant should be shut down while the site is cleared up. A shutdown for a clean-up would have led to the plant's permanent closure, the company had warned.

Source - ANSA


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