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Latest update : 2012-10-26

Italy's Ilva factory: your job or your health?

An Italian court has ruled in favour of closing Europe's biggest steel works on environmental and health fears. But the plant's managers are fighting to keep it open. Determined not to let that happen, citizens and workers have formed a united front.

The chimneys of the Ilva factory, in Taranto, in the Apulia region of Italy, can be seen for miles around. For a long time, they were the pride of the region. A third of Italy's steel output is produced here and it is the biggest steel works in Europe.

But there is a less glorious reality, which has long been hidden. The plant alone is responsible for 92% of the dioxin emissions in Italy and 9% of those in Europe. The air and soil of the town are contaminated by lead, nick and iron ore. For years, residents have been breathing in these toxic particles.

In Taranto, the mortality rate is 10 to 15 percent higher than the national average, while the cancer rate is over 30 percent higher. Cases of tumours, leukaemia and respiratory diseases are also abnormally high.

By Tristan Dessert

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2017-04-21 France

Battle to stop nuclear waste being buried in a French village

The village of Bure, in eastern France, has become a battleground for environmentalists. It has been chosen as a site to bury radioactive waste, 500 metres underground. An...

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2017-04-14 France

How sick are French hospitals?

Doctors, nurses, nursing aides, executives and even managers… They chose to work in public hospitals to be able to treat people from all walks of life – from the homeless to...

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2017-04-07 French Presidential Elections 2017

Disillusioned French voters speak out ahead of elections

Back in 2012, we went to meet French voters from all walks of life who told us of their hopes and fears. We met Fabrice, a factory worker; Ahdijah, a social worker; Lionel, a...

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2017-03-31 Holocaust

Video: 'If I ever come back', a French schoolgirl's letters from the Holocaust

"If I ever come back" tells the tragic story of Louise Pikovsky, a French schoolgirl who was deported and died at Auschwitz. Using long-forgotten letters Louise wrote to her...

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2017-03-23 Europe

Video: Crimean dissidents silenced by Moscow

Three years after the annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea, Russia has deployed all the tools at its disposal, in the police and the justice system, to silence...

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