ILVA: Calenda and Region clash

Genoa - Tense times for ‘Made in Italy’ steel. There is no shortage of complications from Taranto to Piombino.

di Gilda Ferrari

Genoa - Tense times for ‘Made in Italy’ steel. There is no shortage of complications from Taranto to Piombino. And the road to a solution, via conflict, passes through Rome once again, and in particular through the Ministry of Economic Development. In the case of ILVA, the government and local entities have different positions, both in terms of method, since the meeting over the lawsuit did not include the territorial entities, and in terms of merit, since the Region and the City have confirmed their appeal to the Regional Administrative Court over the decree for the new Environmental Plan. In terms of the former Lucchini plant, based on the statements from the unions, the contract with Cevital will not last long. Meanwhile, Minister Carlo Calenda in anticipation of the real meeting on ILVA tomorrow at the Ministry of Economic Development observed: “it is astounding” that in the face of investments worth “2.4 billion” the local authorities “not only do nothing for the success of the operation, but actually constantly attempt to hinder it.” These statements were made in a press release at the end of his meeting with the President of Puglia, Michele Emiliano, and the Mayor of Taranto, Rinaldo Melucci.

According to the governor, the results of the meeting were negative, since as he explained, “the Government considers it to be unnecessary for the City and the Region to be present at the labour union agreement meeting.” The Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) repeatedly emphasised that a “meeting of the institutions” was proposed to bring the situation up to date and consult with the local entities, with the participation of Arcelor Mittal. One can read in the Ministry’s release that this idea was “turned down” by the governor and the union, which insisted on participating in the union negotiations. All this while both Emiliano and Melucci were re-asserting that the DPCM [i.e. Presidential Decree from the Council of Ministers], which has been debated so much in these days, “will be challenged.” Which for Calenda is “an element of risk.” And it’s not the only one, as the Mayor of Taranto recalled: “we are also waiting for 13 November, when the Antitrust Authority will announce its decision.” Then in the evening there was a new response from Emiliano: “The Region’s President and the Mayor of Taranto did not refuse any meeting.” He added, “the President and the Mayor have also confirmed that they will be present at any meeting on the subject of ILVA, and that they do not accept that the very important meeting will take place without them, which the union has also complained about, that is, the meeting on the industrial plan and the possible redundancies.”

Tomorrow will also be a decisive day for the Piombino site, since it is the deadline for Cevital to announce an industrial partner. After a summit at the Ministry of Economic Development, FIOM, FIM and UILM announced that as expected, the decision has practically been made already. “We welcome the fact that Minister Calenda has committed to applying what is agreed to in the addendum, taking all formal measures to rescind the contract starting from 31 October,” explained CGIL leader Francesca Re David. FIM CISL leader Marco Bentivogli took the same line: “Cevital has once again confirmed its total unreliability. Time has run out, and we need to change course starting tomorrow, focusing immediately on more credible industrial players.” Their position was shared by UILM General Secretary Rocco Palombella: “this is a situation that should force the Government - through the process of extraordinary administration - to consider new buyers.” And on that score, there has been much talk of British steel and Jindal steel.