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Credit crunch has cut 'tragic hole' in Italy, says Squinzi

Manufacturing crisis 'must be tackled'

Credit crunch has cut 'tragic hole' in Italy, says Squinzi

Rome, June 5 - The credit crunch in Italy has created a "tragic" hole of 50 to 60 billion euros for the country's businesses over the last 18 months, the head of Italian industrialists' confederation Confindustria, Giorgio Squinzi, said on Wednesday. "This is a problem that has to be tackled, because once (businesses are) closed, there is no re-opening," he said commenting on a Confindustria report saying that an alarming 15% of Italian manufacturing capacity has been destroyed by the economic crisis. "When the recovery starts, Italy might not be able to take part because its motor has been broken," Squinzi said. Banks cut 44 billion euros worth of credit to Italian companies in 2012, according to a report by rating agency Standard & Poor's released on Wednesday. "We are living in difficult times, but as long as we are united and convinced of our possibilities, I will continue to have the utmost faith that we are strong enough to confront and overcome this period," Squinzi said. A comprehensive strategy that looks to the "long-term...must be launched immediately on several fronts, otherwise what we take with one hand we lose the other," the Confindustria chief said. Italy's manufacturing is in peril, Confindustria warned in the report, while stressing that helping the sector capitalise on its huge potential would contribute to emerging from the country's longest recession in over 20 years. Squinzi emphasised that "those who are determined to grow will grow" by entering the global market - "something Italy absolutely needs". "The country needs to roll up its sleeves," Squinzi said.

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