Taranto authorities ban protests for ministers' ILVA visit

Steel mill in closure row

Taranto authorities ban protests for ministers' ILVA visit

(ANSA) - Taranto, August 16 - Local authorities in the southern Italian port town of Taranto have banned all public demonstrations on Friday, when Italian ministers are due to meet with local authorities to discuss the future of the troubled ILVA steel mill that is facing possible closure due to environmental and health violations. Italian Industry Minister Corrado Passera is slated to meet with local authorities on Friday together with Environment Minister Corrado Clini. Parliament deputies from a variety of Italian political parties will also be present at the summit. Passera has in the past called for the plant not to be closed, and Clini on Tuseday said uncertainty about ILVA's future is putting Italy's entire industrial system is at risk, Environment Minister Corrado Clini. The government and ILVA are embroiled in a fierce legal standoff with a local tribunal that has ordered the partial closure of the plant until it is upgraded to meet international standards amid concerns it has been generating pollution for years that threatens the health of workers and local residents. The company said closure would put the livelihood of the 12,000 people it employs, as well as the jobs of many other people in the related supply chain. On Thursday labour unions in Taranto were holding a two-hour strike and protest march that blocked major roads around the ILVA plant. The next hearings on the ILVA case are slated for August 28 and September 18.

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