At Palazzo Chigi and the Ministry of Justice, they deny any contact with the chief prosecutor of Milan, Francesco Greco. However, there is noisy support in the government rooms for the Milanese magistrates who dropped a bomb in the dispute with ArcelorMittal: "Welcome the prosecutors' initiative", he celebrates Giuseppe Conte. And it is clear that Greco's move gives strength and support to the executive in the "legal battle of the century" against the Franco-Indian group announced by the premier and the minister of economic development (Mise), Stefano Patuanelli.
Ex Ilva, Conte: Ilva, Milan public prosecutor opens an inquiry into ArcelorMittal's withdrawal
The offensive launched by the Milanese Public Prosecutor moves on the tracks chosen by the government and the commissioners of the former Ilva. With the exploratory file, without crime or suspects, Greco wants to understand if economic-corporate crimes have been committed. And if ArcelorMittal caused "the possible impoverishment of the business unit" during the execution of the rental contract. Not only. The Milan Public Prosecutor's Office, evoking "the public interest", enters the civil case brought by the commissioners against the act of withdrawal of the Franco-Indian group, to defend "the employment levels, the economic productive needs of the country, the obligations of the process of environmental remediation ». Exactly what Conte and the trade unions have been saying for days.
Ilva, ArcelorMittal on December 4th. Table at the Mise with unions. Conte: we will not let out blast furnaces
At Palazzo Chigi and in the majority mounts irritation against ArcelorMittal. During the meeting at Mise, ad Lucia Morselli, according to Patuanelli, "played dirty". This is because, pointing the index on the true and serious non-fulfillment of the executive and the majority, the leaders of the group have dusted off the cancellation of the penal shield and the failure to put the blast furnace into safety 2: «It has become a crime to work in the hot area », Morselli reported. This prompted CGIL, CISL and UIL to ask the government to restore criminal protection "to remove alibis".
"In reality," confides the Development Minister, "ArcelorMittal wants to leave because his business plan does not hold: Morselli clearly said when he spoke of 5,000 redundancies and a production of 4 million tons a year ». Hence the conviction of Conte and Patuanelli, but also of the ministers of the PD, that the suspicion that the Indians wanted to take the former Ilva to "eliminate an important competitor, closing the steel plant" is "increasingly founded".
And from here the government starts again. Now, after the French-Indian group has announced the timing for extinguishing the blast furnaces, what the prime minister calls "mobilization" to prevent "the murder of the steel plant" is triggered. Which in Conte's opinion would mean the end of any prospect of relaunching and safeguarding employment levels, in addition to the "compromise" of the environmental recovery plan.
At Palazzo Chigi, however, they are convinced that Mittal's threat can be thwarted thanks to the appeal of the commissioners, which should be discussed "within 13 days". Before starting the blast furnace shutdown. The under-secretary for economic planning, the Tarantino Mario Turco says: «The Franco-Indian group is in legal confusion. The blast furnace stop cannot be made by the tenant of the plants, it is as if a tenant has destroyed the rented house. It's illegal. This is also why we have sent the commissioners to assess the situation, but they have been prevented from entering. This is very serious: the contract includes inspections ».
Surprisingly, Conte finds himself with a compact majority. The dem Andrea Andrea and Francesco Boccia join him. Even Matteo Renzi takes the field. The deputy secretary of the Democratic Party says: "ArcelorMittal does not simply want to leave Taranto, it is working to close the steelworks definitively". And Orlando urges an intervention to supply the former Ilva with raw materials "without waiting for the trial". The reason: "We would risk arriving too late. If the commissioners did not find the ore to keep the blast furnaces on their return, it would take at least a month to get the ships with the supplies ». Meanwhile, the former Ilva would be turned off.
The government cannot afford the closure of Europe's largest steel plant (1.4% of the national GDP and 20,000 jobs, including induced). This is what he has been thinking of "alternative solutions" for days after the factories returned to the commissioner management: a bridging loan and then a new consortium. Probably led by Cassa depositi e prestiti. Or it will replicate the Alitalia model with the Mef in a minority share (10-15%), Cdp and some industrial partners like Fincantieri or Leonardo.
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