MILAN (AP) — An Italian Cabinet official warns a judge's decision to close a steel plant employing thousands on environmental grounds will cripple the government's industrial policy.
Under-secretary Antonio Catricala told Italian radio on Monday that the government plans to ask the Constitutional Court whether the court decision to close the Ilva steel plant in southern Italy went too far.
The plant was ordered closed after health studies showed an elevated incidence of cancer in the area. The plant's operators say toxic fumes have already been reduced.
The government claims that work to clean up the plant and determine present pollution levels has been hampered by the closure order, and that environmental and economic concerns must be balanced.
The plant employs 12,000 and accounts for 75 percent of economic production in Taranto province.