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TARANTO, Italy (Reuters) - The sprawling ILVA steelworks has loomed over the skyline of Taranto and dominated the city's economy for 50 years, but toxic pollution has transformed the site from a symbol of postwar prosperity to an emblem of Italy's long industrial decline.

Following years of uncontrolled environmental abuse, the future of the plant, the largest steel producer in Europe, now hangs in the balance after judges finally stepped in last month and ordered it to clean up or be shut down.

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