The Italian government is working to restore environmental immunity to the highly polluted site Ilva de Taranto, the steel company ArcelorMittal, which took over last year, assured its owner on Thursday.
ArcelorMittal said at the end of June that it would be forced to close the site from September 6 if the government did not return to a decree removing "immunity criminal and administrative" for managers Ilva environment.
"We stressed the importance of the file to the government," said ArcelorMittal's chief financial officer, Aditya Mittal, during a conference call for the group's half-year results.
"I must say that they are very constructive in their approach with us," he said.
"They are working on new laws or new legislation to restore the immunity we had and what would any other operator of the Ilva site," said Aditya Mittal, also managing director of ArcelorMittal Europe.
"I think they are working on it right now, there is no date on when the new law would pass but they gave us indications that it would be before September 7th," said Aditya Mittal. .
The Ilva site is among the most polluted in Europe. It is at the heart of a huge lawsuit in Italy, experts quoted by the Italian prosecutor evoking up to 11,550 deaths in seven years caused by its polluting emissions.
By taking over the steel plant in 2018, ArcelorMittal has committed to inject 2.4 billion euros over five years to improve its productivity and speed up the cleanup.
ArcelorMittal had explained that the end-June decree "removes the legal guarantees that existed when (he) agreed to invest in the plant" and that "are necessary until the company has completed its environmental plan in order to to avoid any responsibility for problems that she would not have created ".
© 2019 AFP