Former Ilva, union government: «We are working on a consensual divorce from Mittal»

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A consensual divorce for Acciaierie d’Italia between Arcelor Mittal and Invitalia. The solution the Government is aiming for is that of a separation between the two shareholders of the company, but seeking an agreement, a point of mediation, which avoids a long and bitter legal conflict. How this consensual divorce will take place will be understood in the next week. We should know more on Wednesday. The unions have been reconvened for next Thursday.

This is the line enunciated by the Government which on 11 January, in the evening, received the unions Fim, Fiom, Uilm, Usb and Ugl for a point of situation after the rupture that occurred on Monday 8 January, in the confrontation between the Government and Aditya Mittal, CEO of the multinational which with its 62% stake has a majority role in the company, while Invitalia (Mef) is a minority public partner (38). The Government was represented by the undersecretary to the presidency, Mantovano, with the ministers Urso (Businesses), Fitto (European Affairs, Southern Italy, Cohesion and Pnrr), Calderone (Labour) while the head of the Economy, Giorgetti, was in contact.

The Government’s position

The note from Palazzo Chigi summarizes the meeting as follows: «We are working hard to define the discussion with ArcelorMittal and proceed briskly to identify the path for the future of the plant within a clear and defined framework which has as its first objective production continuity of the company. Once the discussion with ArcelorMittal was concluded, maximum availability was given to start a discussion at the Ministry of Labor to explore all aspects related to employment and safety at work”.

The reasons for the separation

The fact that the Government is thinking about the division between the two shareholders who created Acciaierie d’Italia in the spring of 2021 and believes that there is no longer any space for mediation between private and public, arises from the negative meeting of Monday with Mittal. The Government, sources who were at the table report, will not have second thoughts and will not back down. Mittal is out. It is now a question of constructing the exit modality.

This choice follows what Minister Urso said in the Senate this morning, where he specified that the private individual had not shown any willingness to intervene financially for Acciaierie. The private individual, however, is willing to reduce his stake in the company and drop to 34 percent, but above all asks that, beyond the modification of the corporate structure, governance remains shared between the two shareholders. In this way, said Urso, the private sector aims «to influence any further decision. Which is neither acceptable nor feasible, both in substance and in light of European constraints on state aid.” The purpose of everything, to use Urso’s words, is to embark on a new route by “changing crew”, given that the Executive accuses the current management of the company not only of failing to respect all the commitments undertaken, but also of having brought steel production also took a nosedive, failing all its announced objectives. Last year, for example, it stood at 3 million tons versus the 4 expected.

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