Zanonato pledges help for Riva
Govt preparing to help steel mills' parent company18 September, 16:22
A plan could go before cabinet by Friday setting out proposals including appointing a commissioner to help manage Riva's affairs, said Flavio Zanonato, in comments to a parliamentary committee.
Last week, Riva Acciaio announced it had halted operations at seven plants over financial problems.
The halt threatened about 1,400 jobs at the plants. Riva Acciaio blamed its actions on a seizure order issued by a court in the southern port city of Taranto, which has been trying for more than a year to force the company to make expensive environmental upgrades at its massive ILVA steel plant there.
Zanonato said he has been discussing the situation with Taranto prosecutors office.
He added that he is considering a change to the laws governing seizures, which could allow a company to have access to seized funds via a government appointment administrator, to help it remain in business.
This, said Zanonato, would mean the administrator "will be able to have the resources to pay salaries and restart plants".
The latest developments came after around one billion euros in assets were seized from the Riva family.
The Italian government has worked hard for more than a year to keep the Taranto plant operating.
It employs about 12,000 workers in a region that has struggled with high unemployment.
Since July 2012, various court orders have demanded partial closures of the steel mill while it brings in major environmental improvements.