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ArcelorMittal to hand Ilva plant back to Italian state over legal row

ROME, Nov 4 (Reuters) - ArcelorMittal said on Monday it was withdrawing from a deal to buy Italy’s struggling steel firm Ilva after the government removed previously agreed guarantees of legal immunity over its operations.

ArcelorMittal reached a deal last year to buy the heavily polluting Ilva, which is based the southern city of Taranto and employs some 8,000 workers in a region with one of the highest unemployment rates in Italy.

The promised legal shield would have given ArcelorMittal’s managers immunity from prosecution related to a clean-up plan for the plant. However, the ruling 5-Star Movement has opposed handing the firm legal carte blanche, saying it was unfair to Taranto locals who might have suffered from the pollution. (Reporting by Crispian Balmer)

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