Lunedì, 22 Ottobre 2018
ROME

Crisis puts Italian manufacturing in peril

English
© ANSA

(By Kate Carlisle) 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.
Around 55,000 manufacturing companies closed down in
recession-ravaged Italy in the 2009-2012 period, Confindustria
said.
"Italy remains the (world's) seventh top industrial power,
but its production base is at risk because of the depth and
duration of the drop in demand," it said.
The country's manufacturing is in peril, Confindustria
warned, 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.
The report said 539,000 Italian manufacturing jobs were
lost between 2007 and 2012, adding that there is a danger that
the current crisis could end up claiming more than the 724,000
jobs lost in the 1980-85 period.
"The number of people employed in manufacturing has fallen
by 10%," read a report by Confindustria's research centre.
"Italian companies will probably be forced to cut more jobs
in the coming months," Squinzi said.
"But Italy has excellent cards to play... The lesson of the
best advanced and emerging countries is that more manufacturing
equals more growth".
Confindustria's chief emphasized that "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".
However, Squinzi warned that "when the recovery starts,
Italy might not be able to take part because its motor has been
broken".
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.
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 from the other,"
the Confindustria chief said.
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.
Following the release of its report filled with grim
economic figures for manufacturing in crisis-ridden Italy,
Confindustria presented a list of five proposals for the
government to revive the economy.
Confindustria's research center vice president, Fulvio
Conti, said that they are measures "a responsible government
should promptly translate into action".
The points outline "a mission for which the new government
can count on the support of industry," but that require
"courageous decisions and a strategy for more growth through a
robust industrial policy," Conti said.
To start with the program recommends the "mother of all
reforms" that would create "less bureaucracy" and a
simplification of procedures.
The next steps recommended are cost cuts for businesses and
labor through "lighter taxation".
For society as a whole, Confindustria calls for a cuts to
"restore liquidity to the economy" by paying public sector debts
to private companies and support for access to credit for
small-medium enterprise.
The fourth point calls for reforms to make the labor market
less cumbersome and inefficient, with "an agreement between
generations", incentives and tax breaks for young people, women
and the less developed south.
For the fifth recommendation, Confindustria proposes a
reduction of taxes on investments in research and innovation and
stimulation of public and private investments in infrastructure
"even by the means of tax credit".

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