The court in Taranto has partially reversed an order to close the Ilva plant, allowing it to keep running while improvements are made. The improvements are meant to reduce the steelworks’ environmental impact and make it less polluting.
Three executives remain under house arrest. They are Emilio and Nicola Riva, both Ilva ex-presidents, and Luigi Capogrosso, ex-director of the Taranto plant. Five other executives under investigation are now free.
In the meantime, the government is speeding up the process to approve a decree that will initiate the cleaning up of the area. The decree will commit the Italian state to a 336 million euro investment.
In addition, a number of phone tap transcripts from the Ilva investigations have become public. The conversations mention bribing the press and controlling the inspections. Many of the transcripts concern Girolamo Archinà, the Riva family’s PR representative, who was assigned to use the important friendships the Riva family had in order to solve Ilva’s pollution-related issues. Archinà not only mentioned some big local administrators, but also took pride that the Minister of Environment, Corrado Clini, was on their side. “He’s ours,” he said.
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