A week of very tough clashes between Invitalia and ArcelorMittal ends, the loan at market conditions for 320 million euros
Acciaierie d’Italia will be placed under special administration. This brings to a close a week of very tough clashes between Invitalia and ArcelorMittal over the future of the former Ilva group. In fact, the government yesterday formalized the unions’ use of extraordinary administration, albeit temporaryalready effectively decided by the Council of Ministers last Tuesday which had launched, with a beating drum, an ad hoc law decree, in the Official Gazette today, with which to strengthen the production and employment continuity of the former Ilva Group and which, in article 1, establishes the possibility that the public minority shareholder can activate the receivership procedure.
The inevitable measure
A provision that had become inevitable in the face of the latest move by ArcelorMittal which last Monday, with negotiations still open to test the path to a ‘consensual divorce’, had presented to the Milan Chamber of Commerce a request for settlement negotiated at the court of Milan.
A move that would certainly have loomed large for the government as an extension of the negotiation time as well as being interpreted as a real ‘disruptive action’ by the French-Indian multinational. And on Wednesday Invitalia sent a letter to Acciaierie d’Italia holding and Acciaierie d’Italia to request verification of the conditions for starting the procedures for the extraordinary administration which could be operational in two weeks, the time for Mittal to respond if there are any or not the conditions of insolvency.
Adi wins the appeal to the Council of State
Meanwhile, yesterday Acciaierie d’Italia won the round on the blocking of gas supply by Snam for missed payments that the Lombardy TAR had made operational last Monday, after suspending its effects until January 10: Adi in fact won the appeal presented to the Council of State which thus suspended the order of the Lombard judges.
The 320 million bridge loan
Extraordinary but temporary administration, waiting to find new “authoritative” industrial partners for the relaunch of the company which will be able to make use of current liquidity that the government will guarantee, the government explained in the final note of the meeting, “with a bridge loan at market conditions for 320 million euros”, the same that he should have put on the table to acquire the majority of Acciaierie d’Italia. In fact, the objectives for the former Ilva Group, although under commissionership, were explained by the ministers present: for European Affairs, Raffaele Fitto (in video link), for Business, Adolfo Urso, for Labor, Marina Calderone, for the Economy, Giancarlo Giorgetti (via video link) and the undersecretary to the Presidency of the Council Alfredo Mantovano, remain “the safeguarding of production continuity, the protection of employment and the safety of workers”, says Palazzo Chigi which reiterates that it wants to do “its part”.
And the government also paid maximum attention to the Taranto related industries, which were on strike yesterday with the threat of transforming it into a total block of activities within the Taranto plant, if precise guarantees on the 120 million unpaid credits were not received. which they had as of 31 December last year against Acciaierie d’Italia. For today, Minister Urso has already called a videoconference meeting for an update on the situation. The Minister of Labour, Marina Calderone, will also participate in the meeting and has already announced the imminent opening of a table on social safety nets for workers of the former Ilva group.
New government-union meeting in two weeks
“There are still some legal steps to manage but we have given a signal of speed on this because the answers must be given quickly”, he explained yesterday. In 15 days, however, when the government’s executive decree will be operational and the unions will return to meet again at the Sala Monumentale in Largo Chigi to take stock of the situation. And the unions emerge from the meeting with the government certainly more relieved by the effectiveness of the executive that dethroned Mittal, even if the extraordinary administration evokes always, in the experience of Fim Fiom Uilm Uglm and Usb, not very comforting scenarios.
The reaction of the unions
But, as the leader explains FilmRoberto Benaglia, “it is a drastic measure, but the only one possible to give production continuity to the former Ilva group”. Of course, “a difficult transition but we are finally starting to see the future, we are starting to see a 2024 different from 2023 The solution in place keeps faith with the word given by the government which will launch the ad hoc legislative decree tonight, tomorrow (today, ed.) in the Official Gazette”, concludes Benaglia. The Fiom. A first step forward? “We will take a first step when we monitor the conditions inside the plants and when elements of guarantee are given. Until then we are on the road but to date these conditions have not yet occurred”, explains the leader Michele De Palma who on the administration of Adi replies: “We were for the public solution and we continue to be for the public solution which remains the main path.”
Rocco Palombella, leader, is satisfied with the ouster of Mittal, rather than with the commissionership. Uilm. “Mittal’s strategy is at an end. The Government has responded with a law decree which puts it in a position to interrupt corporate continuity with the request for extraordinary administration within fourteen days. We obviously reiterate our opposition to extraordinary administration, which in 2015 it made a clean sweep and created a disaster for related companies. However, we have received reassurances from all the Ministries involved on safeguarding employment and on the management of a possible administration which will only be temporary and which aims to find a private investor at the height of the former Ilva”.
Also cautiousUglm. “Now we need to create an effective timetable to give continuity to production activity. Not only. We hope that the commissioners that the government will have to appoint will come from the world of production, not from that of finance”, explains the general secretary Antonio Spera. And also theUSB “takes note of the extraordinary administration” urging true production continuity and above all, “preliminary request”, the protection of contract workers and of Ilva in extraordinary administration.
(Of Alessandra Testorio)