(ANSA) - London, October 12 - Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne on
Friday backtracked on remarks he made about Florence, calling
the central Italian city "small and poor" earlier this week.
"They were taken out of context," said Marchionne while
visiting the Italian chamber of commerce in London. "In order to
adequately describe the importance and greatness of the city it
would take me the entire day and not the 15 minutes I have
Marchionne was caught making his comments Wednesday at a
closed-door meeting with students in Brussels, where his
comments were aimed at Florence Mayor Matteo Renzi, whom he
called "a bad copy of Obama".
Renzi had criticized Marchionne for shipping plants
overseas while closing factories in Italy, where the auto market
has drastically shrunk amid the recession.
Renzi, 37, may become Italy's next premier.
He is currently leading primary polls if Italians turn out
in large numbers, according to SWG statistics.
He would replace Premier Mario Monti, whose tenure as head
of a technocratic government ends in April.