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Italy's ILVA steelworks announces closure


09:47, November 28, 2012

ROME, Nov. 27 (Xinhua) -- Italy's biggest and Europe's third-largest steel company ILVA announced late on Monday the "immediate" closure of its main plant and related activities in the southern city of Taranto.

Part of the plant had been put under seizure since July following a legal dispute in a clamp-down on pollution blamed for high local cancer rates.

Early on Monday, seven local politicians and officials were arrested for alleged corruption related to the environmental scandal, including Fabio Riva, the deputy chairman of ILVA parent company Riva.

A judge ordered that three of the seven should be detained in custody and the other four be put under house arrest. They were reportedly suspected of criminal association, causing an environmental disaster and corruption aimed to hide the scale of the problem.

According to ANSA news agency, labor union members will meet Prime Minister Mario Monti and other government officials on Thursday to discuss the case.

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