This tag is associated with 16 posts

Alitalia, Indesit, Telecom Italia and the banks: the great Italian sell-off

The sale of Indesit to Whirlpool is just the latest case: what is happening amid the general silence is the end of industrial Italy. The imminent danger is to yield to foreign capital not only industries but also the big banks, and to completely sell off Italian savings. Due to the sharp decline of industry and … Continue reading

Politics must trump the failed magic of the market

Crisis-hit Europe needs to drop its free-market fetish and pursue public investment programmes focussed on technology, the environment and health, argues Giovanni Dosi For thirty years, until the crisis of 2008, talk of industrial and technological policies was off limits, including among the moderate left and reformists, and not only in Italy. The mantra was … Continue reading

Italy’s industrial meltdown – what is to be done?

As the crisis at white goods maker Electrolux heralds another round of plant closures in the Eurozone’s second largest manufacturing nation, economist Guido Viale argues that Italy has to take a radical new approach based on public sector intervention. What is to be done when the owner of a company decides to close down a … Continue reading

Why Fiat prefers newspapers to cars

Fiat prefers to invest in newspapers these days, rather than car-making. And it is apparently all the fault of the unions. Giorgio Cremaschi explains Announcing this week for the umpteenth time the investment in its Sevel plant in Abruzzo, southern Italy, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said that those investments will be the last in Italy, … Continue reading

Italy’s unions march united for jobs

For the first time since 2003, Italy’s three main trade union centrals marched together in Rome on Saturday, to call for government action on jobs. The joint action by CGIL, UIL and CISL, bringing up more than 100,000 into the streets, comes as fresh data exposes the social catastrophe caused by EU-backed austerity and neo-liberal … Continue reading

Metalworkers protest to say “No to layoffs”

The centre of Turin was “invaded” Tuesday by a procession of thousands of blue-collar workers organized by the Fiom union to highlight the crisis hitting the manufacturing sector. In addition to the march,  a dozen factories in the historic car production centre are taking strike action. Italian manufacturing activity shrunk for the 20th straight month … Continue reading

Does Renault have to cut 7,500 French jobs?

French car maker Renault is making its workforce pay for the extreme austerity policies of the French and other EU governments and its multi-billion-euro largesse to shareholders. It aims to cut 7,500 jobs – or 14% of the payroll – in France by 2016, citing falling demand, caused by spending cuts hitting purchasing power across … Continue reading

The problem with France’s rediscovered dirigisme

The problem with the French government’s nationalization threat is only the timidity of this rediscovered dirigisme The Socialist government is threatening to nationalise a €400m (£323m) steel plant in eastern France, unless the Indian-born billionaire Lakshmi Mittal agrees to sell it to a private buyer. Mittal’s company, ArcelorMittal, the world’s biggest steel-maker, wants to close … Continue reading

Industrial death in Italy

Italy has paid heavily for embracing the laissez faire approach for its economy. Amid a dramatic collapse of manufacturing industry, it needs to drop the Anglo-Saxon model and draw some lessons from its own industrial past. Mine occupations, blockades of roads, air and sea ports, and attempted suicides, this summer saw the most dramatic protests yet in a … Continue reading

‘It’s a pressure cooker ready to explode’

The closure of an aluminium smelter in a depressed industrial zone on the Italian island of Sardinia has sparked protests by enraged employees On Wednesday they blocked Cagliari airport. Friday they sought to mount a blockade the sea port of the Sardinian city. Workers of the Alcoa aluminium plant are angry – and desperate – … Continue reading

Big business captures European research subsidies

  €20.3 billion within the EU’s upcoming research programme are about to be captured by industry: the “Industrial Leadership” component of Horizon 2020 explicitly states that this money will support activities whose agenda is industry-driven. Is transforming research funding into subsidies to big business the best possible use of scarce public funds? More at Corporate … Continue reading

Just why is Peugeot Citroën closing Aulnay-sous-Bois?

PSA Peugeot Citroen boss Philippe Varin is not a popular man. His decision to cut 8,000 jobs and close a factory in France has rightly provoked shock and outrage in France. The “restructuring” plan involves the closure of and loss of 3,000 posts at the PSA factory and production line at Aulnay-sous-Bois in the Paris … Continue reading

Italy’s death industry is thriving

A survey of Italy’s economy tells a grim story. The country is now in its fourth recession since 2001. Manufacturing is in free fall. Fiat, the country’s  largest industrial company, closed one car plant last year. And CEO Sergio Marchionne is now threatening to shut others. Youth unemployment is at record highs of 36%. Yet … Continue reading

Factory occupation highlights France’s manufacturing meltdown

Hundreds of workers occupied Monday the factory of ArcelorMittal in Florange in the north of France after it was announced that the temporary closure would be prolonged for a further three months. The workers entered the steel factory shouting ‘Mittal, we want to work’. ‘We won’t leave the factory until the furnaces are started again,’ … Continue reading

French union mounts campaign over manufacturing meltdown

France’s manufacturing industry is going into meltdown. Over the past five years 300,000 jobs have been lost, production has fallen below the level in 1997 and the sector has a commercial deficit of Euros 50 billion, compared to Euros 150 billion surplus in Germany. Manufacturing now represents just 10% of the economy, with employment in … Continue reading

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