Klesch expresses formal interest in Alcoa's Italian smelter -union source
ROME, Sept 10
ROME, Sept 10 (Reuters) - Swiss industrial group Klesch has presented a formal expression of interest in aluminum-maker Alcoa Inc.'s Sardinian smelter, a labour union source said on Monday, as hundreds of the factory's workers protesting against the plant's closure clashed with police in Rome.
"Undersecretary Claudio De Vincenti said there had been a formal expression of interest by Klesch," the labour union source said.
Police earlier baton charged protesters who tried to break through a barrier outside the industry ministry, where government officials, labour unions and Alcoa executives were meeting to discuss the plant's planned shutdown.
The factory supports about 1,500 jobs in Sardinia, and its closure would be a heavy blow for the Mediterranean island, which is already beset by high unemployment.
Alcoa said it would go ahead with the plant's gradual shut down, the union source said.
On Friday, Alcoa said it had not received any expressions of interest since Aug. 1 even though the industry ministry had previously said there had been two since Aug. 31.
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