No agreement and negotiations hanging by a very thin thread. This summarizes the confrontation between the government and Arcelor Mittal for a smooth exit of the Indian giant from Acciaierie d’Italia. The road is therefore clear towards extraordinary administration. The government could already announce it to the unions during the meeting scheduled for tomorrow at 3pm at Palazzo Chigi. The decision, which is not painless, would close the battle for control of the company with Mittal but, in addition to the legal consequences, it risks opening another front with the unions who have always said they are against a measure that they consider traumatic. The related companies are also fearful of the show of strength. Taranto boils. Aigi, Casartigiani and Confapi Industria have announced the stop “indefinitely of all the work activities of their associates within the Taranto steel plant” starting from 6am on Thursday 18 January. The reason lies in the lack of reassurance on the protection of the credits claimed from Acciaierie d’Italia which, according to the associations, amount to 120 million for invoices issued and not collected as of 31 December last. “Credits which – they warn – would be rendered waste paper by the extraordinary administration procedure as happened in 2015 when the related industries lost 150 million following the same measure”. Services which concern the safety of the systems are excluded from the suspension.
In the decree approved by the Council of Ministers last Tuesday which, in fact, paves the way for the commissioner, Palazzo Chigi has strengthened, in the event of recourse to extraordinary administration, the measures already present in the law to protect the production and employment continuity of companies in crisis. Guarantees of extraordinary redundancy fund are also provided during any possible commissionership. But, in addition to the complicated match with Mittal and the need to contain the resulting social costs, the government’s attention is also focused on finding new partners with which to outline the future of the steel industry in Taranto and in the other Acciaierie plants. All within the framework of the National Steel Plan already announced by the Minister of Business and Made in Italy, Adolfo Ursowho met the president of the Danieli group at Palazzo Piacentini, Gianpietro Benedettijust for a comparison on the plan.
The words of the Minister of Economy also come from Davos, Giancarlo Giorgetti: «We are doing our utmost to clarify the former Ilva. To make green steel, a lot of investments are needed so we need partners who will make them together with us”, he observed, explaining how “at the moment there is a partner who has not yet clarified his position”: but “there are many interested in producing in Taranto, the largest European steel production site”. “We want – underlined Giorgetti – partners who share this great ambition of producing steel in Italy, but in an environmentally compatible way”.
Meanwhile a new piece for the national steel plan comes from the protocol for the relaunch of the Piombino steel site signed between Mimit, Tuscany Region, Municipality of Piombino, Metinvest Adria, Metinvest BV, Danieli & C. Mechanical Workshops. The objective, explained Mimit, is a sustainable plant for the production of finished steel products, obtained from the transformation of ferrous materials into hot rolled coils subject to further processing, to be built in Piombino on an area of approximately 260 hectares. The project will be financed with the support of external funding and government grants.