Ex-Ilva at risk. And the specter of lawsuits returns
In jargon they call them “mothers”: they are those companies that feed entire cities. Sometimes, as in the case of Ferrero in Alba, creating a sort of happy island, where the workers have, in addition to a constantly cutting-edge headquarters, additional services that allow them to improve the use of the territory: schools, nurseries, exhibitions art, transport. Other companies, however, employ thousands of people but impose a very high price in terms of impact on the lives of the inhabitants (this is the case of the Eternit of Casale Monferrato and the deaths from asbestos) or on the community, as in the case of the former Ilva in Taranto. A story that, like never before, seems to have reached a turning point: either a solution is found, or it ends. But be careful because, according to accredited sources that Affaritaliani.it was able to consult exclusively, even the season of legal vicissitudes may not be concluded.
Read also: Gozzi: “Italy can be world champion of green steel”
The Taranto factory is now a powder keg. The unions are threatening a 24-hour strike (at least); production is lower than even the darkest expectations, so much so that Apulian exports have fallen due to fewer deliveries from the former Ilva. The government is anxious: it did not personally sign the agreement with Arcelor Mittal which saw Invitalia enter the shareholding structure with a dedicated capital increase for 32% of the company. In exchange for the 680 million put on the table, the state body obtained equal voting rights with Arcelor and the possibility of appointing the president.
Read also: Ex Ilva, the mayor of Taranto vs Urso: “Explain the state’s reversal”
This year new ones should have been made investments to help a workforce that has been laid off since 2019 and to progress with decarbonisation which must proceed in forced stages to meet European demands. 5.5 billion would be needed to build the iron pre-reduced plant necessary to power future electric furnaces instead of blast furnaces. But the government also has two heads that think differently. On the one hand, Minister Adolfo Urso, who is pushing for a state investment that would bring control of the former Ilva back into public hands; on the other his “colleague” Raffaele Fitto who is instead ready to negotiate with Arcelor Mittal to redefine the agreements.
According to the Puglia Democratic Party, “nothing has been known about the future of the steelworks for months, except for the continuous requests for redundancy payments. We have been hearing announcements about decarbonisation projects for some time but then it is Fitto himself who takes away 1 billion from the PNRR for the DRI (Direct Reduced Iron, i.e. the pre-reduced iron, ed.) in Taranto”. Two heavy hitters from the Dems like Francesco Boccia and Antonio Misiani they had spoken of an agreement reached for a total of two billion between the government and Arcelor Mittal. But a sharp denial came from the executive.
Read also: Former Ilva, Urso defeated: no nationalization. And Bernabé goes towards the exit
So what’s at stake? First of all, the survival of the plant itself and, in turn, of the workers who depend on this “mother”: we are talking about around 8,500 people plus related activities. As the Corriere del Mezzogiorno writes, there is almost no money left in the cash register, it is difficult to purchase raw materials, blast furnace 1 is always at a standstill. Whose fault is it? Of politics, certainly. But also of a company like Arcelor Mittal who thought he could dictate increasingly restrictive conditions, especially with regards to the criminal shield that had been removed, causing the company to disengage. We therefore need a new agreement, a new chapter in a public-private partnership that has worked very badly up to now. So much so that someone asked: why was he chosen Arcelor Mittal?
According to Affaritaliani.it, the Danieli steelworks, world leader in the long products sector (of which it holds 90% globally) was ready to put up to 1.4 billion euros on the table between investments and cashh. The thing didn’t go through and some continue to ask themselves why they preferred to continue with it Arcelor Mittal despite the “Aventine” of 2019 after the fall of the criminal shield. Which is true, they have a turnover fifteen times higher than that of Danieli, but they haven’t shown too much reliability. More: there are those who argue that in the face of this new slowdown in the relationship between the Indian group and the State, there may be additional legal queues. With the Danieli family who could ask for some clarification on the matter. Except that time, like never before, is inexorably running out.
Subscribe to the newsletter