MILAN Nov 13 The Italian regional and national
governments have created a 451 million euro ($573.27 million)
fund for the economic development of the area surrounding an
Aloca aluminium smelter that is slated for closure at the
end of this year.
The Sulcis area, in the south-western region of the island
of Sardinia, is threatened with unemployment from the looming
closures of the Carbosulcis coal mine, as well as the U.S.
aluminium group's smelter.
With more than 1,000 jobs in the area at risk, the
industrial crisis hitting the impoverished Mediterranean island
of Sardinia is a political hot potato for technocrat Prime
Minister Mario Monti as he fights to keep costs down and contain
Italy's high debt.
With Alcoa set to leave Italy, the government is looking for
a buyer for the smelter, which produces around 8 percent of
Italy's aluminium needs.
An Italian junior minister said in October that three
companies have expressed interest in the smelter that Alcoa
decided to shut due to high power prices.