Florence

Fiat CEO tries to bury the hatchet with Florence, mayor

'Small and poor city' comments were 'a bad translation'

Fiat CEO tries to bury the hatchet with Florence, mayor

Florence, June 13 - Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne tried to bury the hatchet with Florentines Thursday over offensive comments attributed to him about the Tuscan city and its mayor. Marchionne was lampooned in October for comments made during a closed-door meeting with students in Brussels in which he allegedly described the Tuscan capital as "small and poor". Speaking in Florence Thursday at the annual meeting of the powerful employers' confederation Confindustria, Marchionne denied making the comments and blamed them on a "bad translation" by a "so-called journalist" of statements he made in English. He was also cited on the same occasion as calling Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi, a rising star in the center-left Democratic Party (PD), a "bad copy of Obama," which Marchionne has flatly denied. "Today I will be careful not to use one word of English," joked the Canadian-Italian. "(The journalist) pulled a fast one," he added, then stressed his admiration for "a city that in terms of art, culture and science has no equals in the world".

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