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La Stampa - Italy | Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Closure of Italian steelworks would be fatal

The Italian steel company Ilva has announced the closure of its steelworks in Taranto in southern Italy after the judiciary issued arrest warrants against the operators of the plant on Monday. They are allegedly responsible for the deaths of people who lived near the plant, owing to emissions of toxic dust and dioxin. The government's plan to issue a decree preventing the closure of the plant is justified, the liberal daily La Stampa writes: "The bitter irony of fate is that this Italy that wants to get rid of its steel is at the same time refusing to save an environmentally polluted city. Because only if Ilva continues production at the Taranto steelworks can the plant become a means of saving an environment that has been ravaged by negligent supervision. After the company management was able to act in a grossly negligent way for decades thanks to the lack of state controls, the idle state has now gone to the opposite extreme in answer to the court-ordered closure. This is a short-sighted, overly severe measure that will prove to be no less damaging."

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