Italy has asked the European Commission to postpone the controversial closure of three steel plants, saying there has been an upturn in the steel market.
A government spokesman said Italy wanted the closure of a blast furnace at Bagnoli near Naples to be delayed by a year until the end of June, 1990. It wanted similar delays at plants in Turin and Sesto San Giovanni near Milan, both due to shut at the end of March.
The Bagnoli plan, which would involve cutting 2,000 jobs, sparked rioting in January.
Other governments that have cut production say cuts in Italy are needed to help make the European steel industry competitive.