Taranto

No urgency to sell confiscated ILVA steel

Constitutional Court ruling slated April 9 to decide plant fate

No urgency to sell confiscated ILVA steel

Taranto, March 18 - There is no "particular urgency" to sell off steel and semi-finished products sequestered from the troubled ILVA plant in southern Italy, a Taranto court said on Monday. The 1.7 million tonnes of steel valued at one billion euros is being held pending a Constitutional Court ruling on the fate of the plant slated for April 9. The facility has been at the center of a legal dispute between local prosecutors, who have called for its closure, and the national government, which has battled to keep it open to save jobs and expertise. The ILVA affair dates back to last summer. A Taranto judge shut down the plant's smelters in July to protect the health of workers and nearby residents from toxic emissions found to have caused illnesses and deaths over a period of years. In October, the court also seized control of products sitting in the docks, waiting to be commercialized, and issued a new wave of arrests in a corruption probe linked to the ongoing pollution probe.

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