Fiat head trying to 'push' country in right direction

Confindustria chief says embattled industry seeking recovery

Fiat head trying to 'push' country in right direction

(see related story)Moscow, July 31 - Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne aimed to push the country in the ''right direction'' with yesterday's comments slamming business conditions in Italy, said the chief of the Italian federation of industrialists Confindustria on Wednesday. Speaking from Moscow, where he took part in a Russian Confindustria assembly, Giorgio Squinzi told reporters Marchionne's position is one intended ''to push the country and its social forces (e.g. unions) to go in the right direction'', but that Italian enterprises are currently putting their all into recovery from the current economic crisis. In this sense, Squinzi supported Labour Minister Enrico Giovannini's rebuttal to Marchionne that Italian businesses have shown uninterrupted commitment to investment and striving for growth. However, Squinzi admitted Marchionne had a point that right now, in the absence of change in industrial relations, it is very difficult to continue to plan business activity in Italy. Squinzi said streamlining bureaucracy was fundamental. ''One must embark on political-institutional reforms and a Title 5 Constitutional reform to simplify bureaucratic norms in the country. If we go in this direction, I am sure that Marchionne will take a different position,'' Squinzi said. On Tuesday, Fiat group's chief executive Sergio Marchionne said during a conference call with media and analysts that the ''conditions in industrial Italy remain impossible''. Marchionne has launched several thinly veiled threats to shift the automaker's production out of Italy, apparently still smarting from a recent court ruling in favour of the left-wing FIOM trade union, which has clashed bitterly with Fiat several times in recent years. Minister Giovannini on Wednesday countered that many of Italy's companies are continuing to ''invest, grow, create jobs and profits, despite undeniable difficulties,'' during a radio interview. (photo: Chief of Confindustria, Giorgio Squinzi)

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