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Les mutations de la sidérurgie mondiale du XXe siècle à nos jours / The Transformation of the World Steel Industry from the XXth Century to the Present


Edited By Charles Barthel, Ivan Kharaba and Philippe Mioche

La sidérurgie a joué un rôle moteur dans l’éclosion du monde industrialisé moderne. Quoique son importance relative par rapport à l’ensemble des économies globalisées soit aujourd’hui en recul, il n’en demeure pas moins que, grâce à un processus d’adaptation permanente aux nouvelles données d’un environnement qui change de plus en plus rapidement, elle occupe toujours une place de choix. Aussi ses innombrables implications technologiques, commerciales, politiques, diplomatiques, culturelles et sociales font-elles apparaître l’utilité de faire le point sur deux siècles de mutations dans une démarche comparative à vocation essentiellement historique, mais également ouverte à d’autres disciplines.
Changes in the world steel industry have been faster in the late twentieth century than in all previous periods. The Transformation of the World Steel Industry from the Twentieth Century to the Present aims to scientifically describe and study the transformations which occurred in all areas of that industry. Its positioning in the contemporary period allows a multidisciplinary and comparative reflection about the origins and forms of these technological, commercial, political, diplomatic, cultural and social changes.
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The End of Public Steel in Italy (1992-1993) (Ruggero Ranieri)



Università degli Studi di Padova

This paper deals with the decision, taken in 1993, to privatize the Italian public steel sector, namely the holding company, ILVA, part of the State-owned conglomerate, IRI. As is well known, in the late summer of 1993, ILVA was put into liquidation; its assets were split into three holding companies: ILP (ILVA Laminati Piani); AST (Acciai Speciali Terni) and ILVA Residua in Liquidazione. The EU Commission gave the Italian government a deadline of one year within which the first two companies, ILP and AST, were to be entirely privatized.1

The topic of privatization of Italy’s public steel sector has received some attention in the literature, but existing accounts rely on secondary sources.2 My paper, on the other hand, is the result of research in the archives of IRI.3 Among the issues that I will address is the question of who ← 189 | 190 → was responsible for the decision to privatize and what was the role played by the EC/EU Commission, a common theme in the literature being that Italy was forced to privatize by Europe, acting under the pressure and in the interest of its main competitors.

Italy’s public steel sector had fallen into the red in the 1970s and had since failed to recover, despite cuts and restructuring carried out under the EEC manifest crisis regime between 1981 and 1988. Attempts to recover creditable levels of competitiveness and productivity had largely failed and by 1987...

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