TURNIP — The era of ArcelorMittal in the former Ilva is over. There is no other way for Meloni’s government. The Franco-Indian giant, who won the tender in 2017, must leave the Acciaierie d’Italia in Taranto. The perspective has changed compared to the last four months: first the executive tried to fix and keep the majority shareholder inside, he tried to change relations. Separation is the only way now. Come on Trade Minister Adolfo Urso, hinted already in the morning during a briefing to the Senate, when he spoke of a “drastic intervention”, the need to “change the crew at the helm of the former Ilva in order to reverse the course”. Not only. Urso emphasized that “it is no longer possible to share management with ArcelorMittal”.
At Palazzo Madama, there was no shortage of contradictions and recriminations between the former economic development ministers who were the protagonists of the affair, such as Carlo Calenda of Azione and Stefano Patuanelli of the M5s. From the outside, it is the president of Confindustria Carlo Bonomi, who says that “we only realize what is happening today after years of wasted time”.
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The divorce can be consensual: a solution that the legal teams of Invitalia and ArcelorMittal can find compensation from the state by next Wednesday. Otherwise, the government will collapse anyway. It will be more traumatic and in this second case the use of extraordinary administration and trustee cannot be ruled out. A hypothesis that was floated last night at a meeting in Palazzo Chigi between the executive and the three secretaries of Fim, Roberto Benaglia, Fiom, Michele De Palma and Uilm, Rocco Palombella. No one has mentioned it, but in the event of a total break with the Franco-Indian steel group, it appears to be the only option. A path that the executive can activate at any time, but for the unions “it would be a disaster”. Deputy Secretary Alfredo Mantovano assures: “We’ll talk about what happens next Thursday. January 18, the day the secretaries of the three metalworking groups met again at Palazzo Chigi. A question of strategy. The desire to seek a legal solution that satisfies all shareholders is real, thereby avoiding the burden of legal consequences. “We continue to work hard to identify the path for the future of the plant in a clear and defined framework, the first objective of which is the continuity of the company’s production,” they explain from Palazzo Chigi. The executive also guaranteed job protection and worker safety. A way to also facilitate the arrival of new private industry partners.
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The new scenario, on which Minister Urso and his colleague Raffaele Fitto agree and do not argue in front of the unions, suits the metalworking shortcuts. Rocco Palombella, Uilmo’s secretary and former employee of Ilva of Taranto, notes that “we unions and employees want to see a divorce, not a marriage. From next Thursday, a new game begins for us and the Acciaierie d’Italia will no longer be what we knew it to be.” The government, again through Mantovan, emphasized that in any situation the state will provide the money necessary to support the activities. Fim, Fiom and Uilm request, to pay more attention to ArcelorMittal’s factory initiatives in this transition phase. “It is necessary to preserve them,” they say. Roberto Benaglia, Secretary of Fim-Cisl, emphasizes that “the situation is still difficult and uncertain. Acciaierie d’Italia is the final world, but we must build a new world. We are ready to play this game if the government keeps its commitments and if a new company is created with capable administrators who will protect employment.”
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Michele De Palma, leader of Fiom, adding that “we’re finally here. The government has decided that it will never come back, it runs the company and takes over its responsibility.” De Palma asks for attention to the maintenance workers: “To be able to work even when the new redundancy fund comes into force. They are the ones who protect the factories and the future of the steel industry in Italy.”