Italian govt to decide on Sardinian coal dispute

Striking miners enter 6th day of underground protest

Italian govt to decide on Sardinian coal dispute

(ANSA) - Rome, August 31 - The centre of attention in the industrial dispute involving employees of the Carbosulcis coal company and the Italian government shifted to Rome on Friday as striking miners in Sardinia entered their sixth day of protest underground. The government was expected to make its position clear concerning a regional plan for the relaunch of the Sulcis coal basin in the southwestern part of the island within the context of clean energy production, whose failure could pave the way for the closure of struggling local mines. On Thursday economic development undersecretary Claudio De Vincenti said he thought solutions could be found and that the mines did not necessarily have to close. European Commission Vicepresident Andrea Tajani and Sardinia regional governor Ugo Cappellacci were also due to meet in Rome on Friday to discuss the matter, one of a series of disputes involving industrial production on the island. The Carbosulcis miners began their strike last Sunday evening at the Nuraxi Figus mine and are held up 375 meters underground. They are asking the government to go ahead with plans for clean-coal technology and CO2 storage which they say would also give them greater employment security and they have said they would continue their protest until "the bitter end". Meanwhile in a show of solidarity on Friday morning around 200 people took part in a protest march from Carbonia to the Nuraxi Figus mine.

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