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GOVERNMENT

Electrolux strikes deal to save 1,200 jobs in Italy

Italy's government signed a deal with trade unions and representatives of Swedish home appliance maker Electrolux to stave off the threat of closure for one of the company's factories and save 1,200 jobs.

Electrolux strikes deal to save 1,200 jobs in Italy
Photo: Electrolux

Economic Development Minister Federica Guidi hailed the deal as “significant” following nine months of talks, while Electrolux Italia chief Ernesto Ferrario said it was the result of a “long and painful process”.

The deal will see Electrolux invest around €150 million by 2017 and will suspend planned redundancies in exchange for tax breaks for the four plants affected in central and northern Italy.

“This deal shows public money should be spent on firms that do not sack people and do not outsource,” said Maurizio Landini, head of the FIOM union.

The agreement has to be voted on by factory workers by May 22nd and provides for meetings every six months between trade unionists, company executives and government officials to monitor its implementation.

Electrolux unleashed a wave of protests in Italy in January when it threatened to move production to Poland if its Italian workers did not accept a salary cut.

The company last month announced an unexpected rise in profits for the first quarter and said demand for its products had improved in Europe.

It said it had bounced back from losses at the end of 2013 to post a 19-percent rise in profit to 431 million kronor ($65.6 million, 47 million euros).

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ITALY

Italy’s Renzi wants ex-ECB boss Draghi to become prime minister: report

Ex-PM Matteo Renzi would like to see former European Central Bank chief Mario Draghi become prime minister of Italy, a party source told Reuters on Sunday.

Italy's Renzi wants ex-ECB boss Draghi to become prime minister: report
Matteo Renzi. Image: Andreas Solaro/ POOL / AFP

“I would say that is one of our proposals,” confirmed the source, who declined to be named.

The Italian government collapsed last week when PM Giuseppe Conte resigned. The former coalition allies are currently trying to come to an agreement and sort out their differences.

The centre-left government had been in turmoil ever since former premier Matteo Renzi withdrew his Italia Viva party earlier this month, a move that forced Conte to step down this week.

During the past year, Renzi frequently criticised Conte’s management of the pandemic and economic crisis.

Italy’s La Stampa newspaper also reported on Sunday that President Sergio Mattarella was considering Draghi for the prime ministerial role. However, Mattarella’s office promptly denied this, saying there had been no contact between them.

So far, there has been no comment from Draghi, who hasn't been seen much in the public eye since 2019.


Italy's president, Sergio Mattarella, gave ruling parties more time on Friday to form a new government, after the resignation of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte. 

Coalition parties Italia Viva, the centre-left Democratic Party (PD) and anti-establishment 5-Star Movement must come to an agreement to allow the government to heal. 

Renzi, a former prime minister himself, has pubilcly stated that he does not want to talk about who should lead the next government at this stage, reasoning that the parties need to agree on a way forward first.

“Any effort today to fuel a discussion about Draghi is offensive to Draghi and above all to the president of the republic,” Renzi said in an interview published on Sunday with Corriere della Sera.

A senior Italia Viva lawmaker also told Reuters that “If the president gives a mandate to Draghi, we would certainly support this”. 

Renzi, whose party is not even registering three percent support in opinion polls, quit the coalition over Conte’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and his plans for spending more than 200 billion euros from a European Union fund to help Italy’s damaged economy.

READ ALSO: Why do Italy's governments collapse so often?

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