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EU: Brussels to probe €2bn in state aid for Italian steelmaker Ilva

 |  January 20, 2016

The EU opened an inquiry on Wednesday into Italian state aid for the struggling Ilva steel works, the largest in the bloc and one of its most polluting, the European Commission said.

The inquiry into almost two billion euros ($2.17 billion) in assistance for the plant, which Italy is trying to find a buyer for, threatens to inflame existing tensions between Rome and Brussels over a number of issues including the migration crisis.

The European Commission separately on Wednesday ordered Belgium to recover 211 million euros ($229 million) from steel companies within the Duferco group, the second judgment in a matter of weeks against the country.

“In the case of Ilva, the Commission will now assess whether Italian support measures are in line with EU state aid rules,” Margrethe Vestager, the EU Competition Commissioner, told a news conference.

“Ilva has a very long history of non-compliance with environmental standards,” Vestager said, adding that Brussels had asked the Italian government to tackle the issue when the plant was placed under special administration in 2013.

Full content: The Wall Street Journal

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