(ANSA) - Rome, September 20 - The head of Italy's industrial
confederation Confindustria told the House on Thursday that the
country's large-scale automotive industry was indispensable
ahead of a meeting Saturday between Premier Mario Monti and Fiat
CEO Sergio Marchionne.
"It's a very important meeting," Giorgio Squinzi said. "Fiat
is an important piece of Italy's manufacturing industry. A big
country cannot lack a big automotive industry".
Sparking alarm among trade unions and policymakers, Fiat
said last week its 2010 Fabbrica Italia plan to invest 20
billion euros in facilities in Italy over five years was
no longer valid given the current economic climate, prompting
the premier to call a clutch meeting with Marchionne Saturday.
"It will not be a monologue but a dialogue, and it will be
intense work," said Labor Minister Elsa Fornero.
Laid-off Fiat workers planned a picket line outside a
shuttered plant at Termini Imerese in Sicily to coincide with
"Termini Imerese must enter the agenda of the meeting with
Monti and Marchionne," said Roberto Mastrosimone, secretary of
the FIOM workers union. "The workers are tired of meetings and
roundtables that up to now have led to any meaningful results".
Former Fiat manager Carlo Callieri came to Marchionne's
defence Thursday, arguing that the CEO deserved credit for
saving the company upon taking the helm in 2004 and making it
"Marchionne deserves credit for saving Fiat," he said in an
interview with Italian weekly l'Espresso. "Without him, today we
wouldn't be talking about jobs at risk for the simple fact that
they would have already been eliminated a while ago".
He went on to say there was "nothing strange" about the
decision to back away from the Fabbrica Italia investment plan,
which was made "in a completely different economic climate from