ArcelorMittal has no grounds to quit, says Conte
The case has rocked the government, which is meeting officials from the Franco-Spanish-Indian group, the world's biggest steel producer.
"I am confident," Conte said during a visit to the Civil Protection Department in Rome.
"The government's position is that the contractual agreements must be respected and, in this case, we do not think there are justifications to back out.
"We will hold talks and the government is ready to do everything possible to make sure the other side respects the commitments". ArcelorMittal linked its decision to pull out to the lifting of a so-called "penal shield" protecting the group running the Taranto plant from criminal prosecution. Pollution from the Taranto factory, which employs over 10,000 people, has been linked to high cancer rates in the area and is being cleaned up and turned around with government help. ■