Italians depend on a plant that is wrecking the environment
“Oh come on, two more tumours per year . . . That’s nothing.”
The speaker is Fabio Riva, managing director of the Riva family–owned steel giant, Ilva, Italy’s largest steel producer and one of the biggest in Europe. The comment, recorded on June 9th, 2010, comes from a wiretap ordered by Taranto–based investigating magistrates.
In the conversation, Riva is talking to company lawyer Francesco Perli, who warns him about forthcoming problems with the Italian senate’s environmental commission. Senators have been listening to alarming reports about the company’s plant in the southern Italian city of Taranto from the Puglia region’s regional environmental protection body.
There is little edifying about Ilva which, in 2011, produced 8.5 million tonnes of steel, or 30 per cent of Italy’s steel production. On November 26th, judge Patrizia Todisco ordered the arrest of seven people, including Riva, his father Emilio and five other members of the Ilva management, as well as the sequestration of steel at the plant.
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