Rome

Fiat has a 'responsibility' to Italy to reveal plans

Fornero says Marchionne has duty to explain scrapping expansion

Fiat has a 'responsibility' to Italy to reveal plans

(ANSA) - Rome, September 17 - Automaker Fiat may be a major international player, but it still has responsibilities in Italy that include clarifying its industrial plans, says the country's labour minister. Elsa Fornero was commenting on reports that Fiat's chief executive Sergio Marchionne is backing away from earlier plans for a major expansion and investment in Italy. ''Fiat is now a multinational,' Fornero said in an interview with newspaper La Repubblica. ''But it is also a great Italian industry. Because of this, Marchionne has a duty to explain what his strategies are for Italy. I have many things to ask, and the wait cannot be eternal". Fornero says she wants more information from Marchionne, who is said to be travelling in the United States. Late last week, the auto giant said that its plans for growing Fiat's activities in Italy have been superseded by changed economic circumstances and a collapse in car sales. The company said it was not in a position to enact investments planned more than two years ago, in different market circumstances. Fiat said that a new plan would be unveiled in October to replace its original 'Fabbrica Italia' that would have involved boosting investments by some 20 billion euros. Fiat also promised to make ''responsible choices,'' but its unions have already called on the government to help avert job losses. And another Italian industrial heavyweight has already slammed Fiat for its choices. Tod's founder Diego Della Valle late last week accused managers and owners of Fiat for making poor decisions. ''Fiat's real problems are not the workers, Italy or the economic crisis that certainly exists,'' Della Valle said in a statement. ''Its real problems are its shareholders and its chief executive officer (Marchionne). They are the ones that are making the wrong choices. ''Or worse still, they are making the choices that are most convenient for them, without taking into consideration the interests or the needs of the country, a country that has given much, very much, perhaps too much to Fiat".

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