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Prosecutors say 'Save ILVA' decree violates EU charter

Measures 'violate rights to physical, mental health'

09 January, 18:43
Prosecutors say 'Save ILVA' decree violates EU charter (ANSA) - Taranto, January 9 - The Italian government's 'Save ILVA' decree is a "clear violation" of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, prosecutors say in their legal challenge to the law.

Prosecutors in the southern port city of Taranto have gone to Italy's Constitutional Court with their fight against government efforts to keep open the giant steel mill while it makes upgrades to meet environmental standards.

The ILVA steel plant, which is Italy's largest, has for years emitted toxins that endanger public health. The government's recent decree protecting the troubled steel mill contravenes EU-guaranteed rights to physical and mental health, and undermine Italy's international obligations, the Taranto prosecutors say in their written appeal.

Prosecutors have also claimed that the decree passed by the Italian government, which defines conditions under which the steel plant can continue to operate, constitutes a conflict of powers between branches of the State.

Late last year, Italy's outgoing technical government passed the decree designed to countermand orders by the Taranto court, which would have effectively shuttered the plant and left thousands of workers off the job.

Last July, the Taranto court ordered a shutdown of the plant's smelting areas. Months later, the court also sequestered manufactured parts awaiting shipment.

ILVA appealed the court's seizure orders on the basis of the government's decree, which permits plant operation at partial capacity while ILVA undertakes well-defined clean-up measures.

When the Taranto court rejected ILVA's appeal in late November, the company declared imminent total shutdown of the plant, sparking strikes and protest at its facilities in Taranto and near Genoa.