Bailout Italia: Fiat CEO Says 60k Jobs At Stake
Automotive News [sub] reports that Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is angling for a special Italian-edition auto bailout, echoing a FIM-CISL union official who earlier argued that 60k Italian auto jobs are “at risk.” The playbook should sound familiar. “We expect help from the government for the entire car sector,” Marchionne said. “It’s not about helping Fiat but restarting an entire sector and the whole economy.” This coming from a firm which will likely take a 35 percent stake in Chrysler… if the US government comes through with enough bailout funds to make it worthwhile. Not that double-dipping is in any way unheard of, as bailout mania hits the global automakers. Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi has already met with EU Industry Commish Gunter Verheugen in Turin, Fiat’s hometown. Verheugen had earlier warned that not all European automakers may survive the current auto sector crisis.
There are no projections currently available on the cost of an Italian bailout to taxpayers there, but with the 60k jobs number floating around in a nation which had been enjoying a historically low unemployment rate of 7 percent, there’s no knowing how high it could go. Did we mention that FIM-CISL is part of a politically well-connected union conglomeration which employs some 35 percent of Italy’s workforce? Yeah, this one’s just a matter of time. On the plus side, perhaps an Italian bailout might give Fiat some cash to put into their Chrysler venture. God knows we’re getting sick of the thank-you letters.