Commissioner possible for Riva Acciaio, says Zanonato

Government looking for ways to keep steel plant active

Commissioner possible for Riva Acciaio, says Zanonato

Rome, September 13 - The Italian government is looking for a way to keep the troubled Riva Acciaio steel company in business despite its owners financial and legal difficulties, Industry Minister Flavio Zanonato said Friday. That might involve finding a governmenta-appointed commissioner, he said. The cabinet will weigh that "hypothesis" as it considers possibilities for keeping the enterprise active, he said. Riva Acciaio on Thursday announced it had halted all of its operations barring those at a huge plant of the ILVA steel company in Taranto that has been at the centre of a huge environmental scandal and legal wrangle. The blockage involved some seven Riva-related plants where 1,400 people are employed, according to the Riva Acciaio statement, which said the decision had been made based on a seizure order from a Taranto court. The move came after around one billion euros in assets were seized from the Riva family. The Italian government has worked hard for more than a year to keep the Taranto plant operating. It employs about 12,000 workers in a region that has struggled with high unemployment. Since July 2012, various court orders have demanded partial closures of the steel mill while it brings in major environmental improvements.

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