March 14, 2013 / 3:55 PM / 5 years ago

Bridgestone Italy could reconsider plant closure - minister

ROME, March 14 (Reuters) - Bridgestone’s decision to close its plant in Bari, southern Italy, is not its last word and the Japanese tyre giant is prepared to look for solutions, Industry Minister Corrado Passera said on Thursday after meeting company executives.

“For Bridgestone, the closure is not ‘irrevocable’. We’re opening contacts to find solutions,” he said in a tweet sent after the meeting in Rome.

Bridgestone announced plans last week to close the car tyre plant, angering the Italian government which said the closure of a site employing some 950 workers in a region of high unemployment was “unjustified.”

It called a special meeting with Bridgestone in Rome to discuss the planned closure, scheduled to be completed in the first half of 2014.

Closure of the Bari plant, one of Bridgestone’s eight European tyre production sites, would be a further blow to Puglia, the region on the “heel” of Italy, which already suffers unemployment of more than 15 percent. (Reporting by Alberto Sisto; writing by James Mackenzie; editing by James Jukwey)

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