Di Maio says government will fight A.Mittal exit

Amendments on penal shield for steelworks deemed inadmissible

(ANSA) - Rome, November 13 - Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio on Wednesday said the government will oppose the suit filed by ArcelorMittal Tuesday to get out of their contract to take over the former ILVA steel works, including its Taranto plant, the biggest in Europe.
    "We will oppose" the request presented by ArcelorMittal to rescind the contract, Di Maio told Radio24.
    "The contract must be respected", the foreign minister also said.
    The suit arrived on the table of the president of the Milan court, Roberto Bichi, who will now assign it to one of two sections specialized in business cases, judicial sources said.
    Bichi is scheduled to assign the case on Wednesday.
    The former ILVA group's three extraordinary commissioners are expected to file an appeal by Friday stating that the juridical conditions do not exist for the Franco-Indian steel giant, the world's largest, to pull out of the takeover deal.
    Meanwhile tension in the government majority is high as the 5-Star Movement (M5S) does not want to reintroduce a 'penal shield' protecting manages from crimnal action during a cleanup of the highly polluting Taranto plant whose lifting was cited by Arcelor to pull out of the deal.
    Premier Giuseppe Conte and M5S's ruling partner, the Democratic Party (PD), are in favor of bringing the shield back, provided ArcelorMittal agree to remain.
    The Lower House's finance commission, meanwhile, judged as inadmissible amendments presented by Italia Viva and Forza Italia to reintroduce it.
    ArcelorMittal has said it needs to pull out citing the lifting of the 'penal shield' and the necessity of shedding 5,000workers across the group, which employs over 8,000 people at Taranto and some 3,000 more at Genoa and Novi Ligure.


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