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Fiat Expansion Resented In Italy’s South

From a discreet Reuters:

Members of different unions argue during Fiat workers protest at FIAT headquarters in Turin, northern Italy, May 16. Italy’s government said Fiat must commit to maintaining all five of its auto plants in Italy if it goes ahead with a takeover of General Motors’ German unit Opel, reports said on Tuesday.

Fiat expansion stirs resentment in Italy’s south

Wed May 20, 2009

By Daniel Flynn

POMIGLIANO D’ARCO, Italy (Reuters) – Staring at the locked gates of a Fiat car factory, Mimmo Vacchiano says many families in this poor corner of southern Italy face a stark choice unless its turnstiles reopen.

"If they close this plant, there’s nothing else here, only unemployment or the mafia," said Vacchiano, a 48-year-old father of two. "Here, it’s not like northern Italy, where you can find another job. We’re living in panic."

Pomigliano d’Arco, a town of 40,000 people in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, relies on Fiat for its lifeblood. In recent decades, industry in the nearby port of Naples has closed, tightening the grip of the ruthless Camorra crime gang on the economy of one of Europe’s most depressed regions.

Residents now fear they may pay the price for cash-strapped Fiat’s high-stakes strategy to survive the global recession by expanding to become the world’s second largest car maker.

Unemployment in Pomigliano already runs at nearly 20 percent and Fiat’s temporary closure of the plant — in a bid to slash costs like other major car makers — has brought the town to its knees. Fiat employs 5,000 people directly here but the plant provides jobs for 20,000 if suppliers are taken into account..

Fiat agreed last month to take 20 percent of bankrupt No. 3 U.S. auto maker Chrysler and wants to buy the international operations of struggling General Motors, including Germany’s Opel. This has raised fears of job cuts in Italy, especially in Pomigliano and at Fiat’s Termini Imerese plant in Sicily.

Workers in Pomigliano, among the most militant in Italy, have already clashed with police despite pledges from Fiat and the government that the plant may be downsized but not closed.

"Shutting this plant would cause a revolt," said Vacchiano, standing with angry unionists who say Fiat has refused to talk to them. "If they buy Opel, they’ll be doing it with money made off our backs!"

Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne has said he will only meet unions once he has a clearer idea of the Opel deal. But with Fiat idling the plant for weeks at a time, workers say monthly welfare payments of about 700 euros ($950) are not enough.

On the winding main street, some stores have shut down and in the square men sit idly on park benches. Rubbish litters doorways and washing dries on lines outside apartments where three generations of families live.

In his office in the dilapidated municipal building, Mayor Antonio Dellaratta says Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right government has a duty to step in.

"This could bring the local economy to its knees. High unemployment and insecurity would bring this town to collapse," he said. "We’re in favor of this Opel merger but production must stay here. We must insist on that because Fiat is Italian."

Some analysts say Fiat, facing 5 billion euros in debt payments this year and already burning its way through its cash reserves, may have bitten off more than it can chew…

Industry Minister Claudio Scajola told journalists on Tuesday, asked about possible factory closures.

Already laboring under the euro zone’s heaviest debt and rebuilding after an earthquake in April, Italy’s government may have limited scope to prop up the sector. But Fiat thinks it will need billions to make the GM deal work.

Facing competition from Austrian-Canadian parts maker Magna for Opel, Fiat makes public its proposal for the operation this week. Germany’s government, which faces elections in September, is also pressing hard to avoid plant closures.

Part of the problem for Pomigliano is that fuel-efficient models which have driven Fiat’s recovery — earning praise from U.S. President Barack Obama — are mainly produced overseas

"We want Fiat to unveil a plan to escape this crisis, to make ecological cars here," said Dellaratta in Pomigliano. "The government must give south Italy the infrastructure, technology and research facilities to compete with the north and Europe." …

"How can I get a job? Here, in the south, you have to know someone or pay a union leader just to get work," said Giuseppe Bracolino, 24, sat in the square. "Opportunities here? Zero."

Laid off union workers pose at the gates of Fiat’s temporarily closed car factory in Pomigliano d’Arco May 13, 2009. Pomigliano d’Arco, a town of 40,000 people in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, relies on Fiat for its lifeblood. In recent decades, industry in the nearby port of Naples has closed, tightening the grip of the ruthless Camorra crime group on the economy of one of Europe’s most depressed regions.

Signora De Rosa holds a photograph of her four sons, all of whom worked for Fiat, at her home in Pomigliano d’Arco May 13, 2009. Pomigliano d’Arco, a town of 40,000 people in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, relies on Fiat for its lifeblood. In recent decades, industry in the nearby port of Naples has closed, tightening the grip of the ruthless Camorra crime group on the economy of one of Europe’s most depressed regions. Unemployment in Pomigliano runs at nearly 20 percent and Fiat’s temporary closure of the plant — in a bid to slash costs like other major car makers — has brought the town to its knees.

Fiat is the company that is going to save Chrysler?

How soon will it be before US taxpayer money be sent to Italy to save the local union (Communist) jobs?

(Thanks to BillK for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, May 20th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

21 Responses to “Fiat Expansion Resented In Italy’s South”

  1. BillK says:

    So what’s up with the company riding to Chrysler’s “rescue?”

    A photo gallery at Reuters has this to say:

    A town on its knees

    Fiat’s temporary closure of a local assembly plant has brought the Italian town of Pomigliano d’Arco to its knees. …


    Photos include captions like:

    Laid off union workers pose at the gates of Fiat’s temporarily closed car factory in Pomigliano d’Arco, May 13, 2009. Fiat employs 5,000 people directly in Pomigliano but the plant provides jobs for 20,000 if suppliers are taken into account.


    Signora De Rosa holds a photograph of her four sons, all of whom worked for Fiat, at her home in Pomigliano d’Arco, May 13, 2009. The town of 40,000 relies on Fiat for its lifeblood. Unemployment in Pomigliano runs at nearly 20 percent and Fiat’s temporary closure of the plant — in a bid to slash costs like other major car makers — has brought the town to its knees.

    Perhaps they’re the right fit for Chrysler after all.

    (Unfortunately I can’t really provide a direct link, but you can find the photo gallery on the photo page at http://www.reuters.com/news/pictures.)

  2. Trogdor says:

    Looks like writing on the wall, could just as well be Detroit.

  3. proreason says:

    Until seeing this, I didn’t realize that the TMCC was attempting to bankrupt the entire world.

    I thought that was Phase II.

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      Things here at home are going so easy and well .. they decided to fast track the additional phases.

      Heck .. an anonymous source, who wasn’t authorized to speak on the subject told me, o-blah-blah is in the process of designing his throne and has put God on notice.

      Go figger …

  4. pdsand says:

    “Pomigliano d’Arco, a town of 40,000 people in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, relies on Fiat for its lifeblood. In recent decades, industry in the nearby port of Naples has closed, tightening the grip of the ruthless Camorra crime gang on the economy of one of Europe’s most depressed regions.”

    Sounds like home for the old boy from Chicago. It starts to make sense why Fiat was the first and last choice for Obama.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      “…a town of 40,000 people in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius”

      Lemme see…..What was it? Something something….volcano….something 76AD….something something….Herculaneum, something….Pompeii…..something something….oh yeah, now I remember! …Buried under 10 meters of volcanic ash, people cooked where they stood, cities buried for a millennium…pyroclastic flows, hot choking ash, etc etc.

      But no, that will never happen with Obama as Lord Master In Chief. He will not allow it.

  5. pdsand says:

    Of course it’s more drivel along the same liberal fallicies that:

    1. companies exist to provide jobs
    2. companies ‘owe it’ to their country of origin
    3. if an unemployed person turns to a life of crime, it’s somebody else’s fault.
    4. intervening in the private sector is not only justifiable, but a government responsibility

  6. Liberals Demise says:

    They are ahead of schedule …………

    Fiat will be force to build the “Obamo”bile.
    With no way of ridding gas emissions, you will be forced to by carbon credits as you go …… if you can make it go. Still, you MUST purchase credits from your corner “MicheleMart”
    You will be in charge of keeping Michele “Proud to be American, finally!”

  7. Rusty Shackleford says:

    If everyone here doesn’t mind my saying so, it’s becoming more and more clear day-by-day, in fact hour-by-hour that this presidential man-child hasn’t the ability to do anything but disrupt, destroy, disenfranchise and distract.

    Pretty soon, and this is my own assessment for I don’t think he’s any kind of intellectual beacon, I think that he will have pissed off so many people that he’s gonna have to realize and find that he is inept. Even Carter wasn’t this stupid.

    Those who say it’s all part of a “master-plan” I think that is a stretch. Based on the fact that he is a superficial person who doesn’t understand the inner workings of anything, he’s merely trying to put fresh paint on rust or rotted wood.

    I think his inferior understanding of basic concepts and mechanisms is becoming evident, whether he has an ulterior agenda or not and that even his own “master-plan” will come unraveled. Sadly, though, not before it has made a seriously more grave mess than what we started with.

    If it were up to him to build a house, he would start with the roof and work down. Thus, as he has done with corporate management, he has no foundation to base his anger that the top executives are taking the poor people’s money. In a society such as ours, that kind of goes without saying and sure, there’s a lot of politicking that goes on in the corporate world and whether we think CEO’s deserve such salaries is an issue for board-members, employees and shareholders to deal with. Not GovCo.

    Rush pointed out today how the tentacles are starting to reach into other areas of the private sector already. I knew this since I knew that the auto industry in this country is not just big, it’s huge. From the kid who washes cars on Saturdays to make a buck to the body shops to the parts suppliers, etc etc. But I doubt O-blow-me’s omniscient abilities would tell him that if he dicks with it, it will founder.

    Today I had that anger again. The kind of anger that makes me want to just walk up to that idiot and plant his face in the dirt. The thought that twig-boy strutting around just makes me steaming mad.

    • proreason says:

      “Those who say it’s all part of a “master-plan” I think that is a stretch”

      Well, everything he does undermines the country. If it wasn’t a “plan”, then you would expect some good things and some bad things.

      When you see a very consistent approach in areas that one would ordinarilly think are completely unrelated, then that is evidence of an overall strategy.

      And the strategy is to wipe out the middle class and every institution or rallying point that can threaten the elite, and to govern the country with dictatorial authority. Think about it Rusty….the justice system, families, business, churches, patriotism, constitutional freedoms, contract law, principals of nationalism……everything the man does attacks one of those or another element of the fabric of the country. It can’t be random.

      If there isn’t a strategy, why doesn’t he do SOMETHING that bolsters families, or freedoms, or business. The only things he has done that even approach basic common sense are when he is forced to back off a lunacy like closing Gitmo, or releasing the “torture” photos.

      Now, I doubt seriously that most of these liberal idiots marching in that direction know that they are operating from a blueprint. They are so brainwashed that they think what they do and support is because they are “diverse”, “fair”, “non-racist”, “peaceful”, “non-judgemental”, “open”, “generous”, etc., etc. But I say THAT brainwashing is a big part of the plan. Those mental models have been implanted in their brains by the schools and the msm. Once properly programmed, the basement jack-offs act like autonomous robots in support of the master plan.

      And I certainly DO NOT think Obamy is an architect of the plan. He probably doesn’t even know himself that he is operating as efficiently as a hypnotized automan.

      But this is where we agree…………..”The kind of anger that makes me want to just walk up to that idiot and plant his face in the dirt.”

      I think millions of people feel that way, and that anger isn’t subsiding, it’s building.

      There is going to be a firestorm soon.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      So, what you’re saying is that he’s being cleverly manipulated? As in, he’s so impressed with himself it’s like the scene between Dustin Hoffman and Richard Mulligan as General Geo. A. Custer in the movie “Little Big Man”?

      You know where the general says, “I know, let’s ask the mule-skinner. What say you mule-skinner?” and Dustin Hoffman says, “General, you go down there” and what ensues is the general thinking he’s being played for a sap, only to out-think himself and actually do as Hoffman desires.

      I dunno. I still think that “The Blip” (AKA Obama) simply does things out of knee-jerkiness and with the hatred of the status quo in mind. The end result, of course is a moot point as to whether it’s blue-printed or not but I do agree that it APPEARS to be orchestrated. But, if you took a three-year old who was mad at his momma and let him loose in the kitchen, you might find the chaos he creates to have some semblance of a plan.

      To that end, I can agree.

      Then again, if the plan is to exploit any perceived weakness or any crisis, then I guess that COULD pass for a plan. Just as an NFL offense takes advantage of holes in the opponent’s line.

      Mostly though, I think he plays by his tin ear, with no regard for actual consequences, but knowing that his way is “better” and not being able to see that meddling in things he doesn’t understand will cause chaos.

      Again, I suppose chaos IS the plan. Like…well, shooting up hornets’ nests. Keep em mad, keep em disoriented so in the end, they will accept any safety net to stop the agony.

      Clearly, he’s a passive/aggressive antagonist. In short, an angry bully. You and I definitely agree on his deep-rooted anger and misanthropic behavior. That clearly makes him dangerous. I, for one, don’t take too well to being scolded by such a pantload as him. I used to eat guys like him for breakfast when on active duty. Other veterans can probably testify to same.

      In the company I currently work for, we have a union officer who is very much like that. Knee jerk, likes to yell at his fellow employees, calls everything a crisis. Has not a single credential to his name but nobody else wants to be the shop custodian so we just sort of work around him. We are, at present, trying to get rid of him but it can be tough. We’ll vote him out, eventually. Then, he’ll be beyond bitter and angry…he’ll be downright spiteful. And I’ve warned those who would care to watch for that.

      Twig boy is no different…and I’ve read it in many, many places in the past 30 days alone that he has an overwhelming desire to be liked. But, when his ocean of actions start to dissolve the sand-castle of his popularity, he’ll start with the damage control. He’ll likely panic. It will cause him and his “wife-thing” to throw even more elaborate parties at the WH. Press releases will become odd and disconnected (as if they aren’t already) and he’ll start to whine in the form of scolding the people of the United States even more.

      And then, this is what I fear the most: He’ll exercise such a tirade that all of America will be punished and “wished into the corn field” the way Stalin had his tantrums.

      Again, it’s not the United States I expected to see when I reached middle age, though even back in high school, I was worried for it based on my classmates who were raised to feel guilty about being white and coming from upper middle class homes.

      So if there is a plan, I don’t exactly see it other than the intentional desire to mess up that which others have worked for, the punishing of success and all that. In fact, he may be having a small tantrum as it is. Everything he does, to me at least, doesn’t seem so much planned as it does an act of passive/aggressiveness to “show them”. Like the kid who was angry all the time and who became the local cop.

      But, being as I certainly don’t know everything….you may very well be correct, Pro. I just can’t give him and his clown posse that much credit.

    • proreason says:

      “So, what you’re saying is that he’s being cleverly manipulated?”

      More than that. The entire left operates from a script written decades ago.

      Communist radicals set it down years ago, when after WWII they knew they would not be able to defeat the US militarilly.

      So they decided to subvert the country by capturing education and the media. Now we see the results of their programming efforts. Their propaganda turns everything upside down.

      – Capitalism isn’t economic freedom that develops life-saving medications. It opresses the poor.
      – Awesome technological advances have not made us free. They ruined the environment.
      – We don’t have the best medical care in the world. Millions of people are dying of neglect.
      – We haven’t defeated multiple maniacs and insured peace. We ran roughshod over other countries.
      – We didn’t set 25 million Iraqis free. We slaughtered thousands and built a recruiting engine for Terrorists.
      – We aren’t the most inclusive country of all time. We killed Indians and enslaved Africans.
      – Our families don’t build bonds of love. They discriminate against people with different sexual orientations.
      – Abortion isn’t murder. It’s a woman’s “right”.
      – Free speech isn’t a sacred right. It stops the benevolent masters from making necessary “changes”.
      – Illegal immigration isn’t criminal. They have as much right to a job as you do.
      – and on and on

      And the Moron didn’t fall out of the heavens in 2004. He was in training for decades. Whether he knows that he is the creation of long-dead communist architects or not doesn’t matter. He marches in lock-step with their plan to destroy America. And the same can be said for 99% of the leftist nuts including the media.

      If it isn’t a plan, why does every action fit the same blueprint to tear the country apart and ruin the middle class?

      The TOTUS image is good except that it doesn’t convey the full extent. When the decades-old script isn’t on the teleprompter it’s still playing in his head.

      Every action undermines the building blocks that hold the country together.

      Now the groundwork has paid off. Their creature has the Presidency. In another year, without a major insurrection, the country will be a dictatorship, and the principles and structures that enable our freedom will be irrevocably destroyed.

      Unless they are stopped.

      And without this country, there is nobody else to stop them.

    • proreason says:

      One other point. Why am I hammering this so?

      Because I think the last 110 days have proven how monstrously serious this problem is.

      I respect Rusty a lot, but he or anybody suggesting that The Moron is just a befuddled incompetant implies that it could all go away in a few weeks when events or an actual adult straightens The Moron out.

      Even worse, guys like O’Reilly drive me CRAZY because they are oh-so-eager to come across as the oh-so-objective observors who can see the good as well as the bad with The Moron. With his huge audience, O’Reilly should be ringing the alarm about the earthquake that is ruining our lives, not pretending that it is business a wee bit left of yesterday.

      Winning an election does not give one person the right to change the long-held core fundamental principles of a country.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      Well, Pro, I s’pose when ya put it that way, it rings pretty true. Admittedly, he(they) do need to be stopped and I guess what frustrates and baffles me the most, as much as I know it to be their behavior, is how they actually think they know better and somehow deserve to be in power over all others.

      Indeed, like any dictator, any nation that has thugs for their government, they are never self-critical, and like every scripted movie that had these personalities laid out and dissected for all to see, we, as a nation, seem to have the WORST track record when it comes to character assessment. Especially in our elected officials.

      To add to your list of the socialist mantra there is a certain personality disorder that this nation has when it clings to whatever Madonna says, or who’s going to win American Idle (Idol) and so on. The one time to attack the US is on Superbowl Sunday just before halftime.

      We seem to rate character low on the scale of good human traits and place liars, cheats and crooks at the top. Why is that? I mean, I know it’s happening…yet…there are none so blind and all that.

      I waffle between feeling that it cannot be fixed, ever…and you’re right about the US…if we go under…that’s it and the world will be in the new dark ages for who knows how long. But it seems to be a losing battle. At least up until a few years ago, there were enough people in the US to stand up and tell the rest of the capitalist-hating world to shove it.

      As I read your list, I thought about the great achievements the US did. The space program came to mind immediately. Then microwave ovens, cellphones, personal computers, digital cameras, and on and on.

      So far as I know, the US is actually the only country that really applies itself to environmental concerns while other nations pay it lip service. The US had lead-free gas while Germany wouldn’t hear of it. It took their whackos telling them the Black Forest was dying for them to get it.

      But that’s just one thing.

      I’ve never had a desire for the US to “go European”. I lived there long enough to say I didn’t care much for their system over ours. But, again, like Germany in the 30’s we may have voted in the next Hitler.

      In exactly the same way.

      And you’re probably right that there’s a definite agenda but what they may not realize is that we, unlike the Germans who fell into line quickly and orderly…well….there’s still a BUNCH of Americans who won’t fall into line and will usurp dictatorial rule at every turn. I heard today where a bunch of Chrysler dealership owners are going to sue twig-boy over the unconstitutional takeover of the company and the dealerships.

      I was outraged when I heard Rush read the letter written to American Thinker from a dealership owner in Florida. The clowns are taking it without compensation and giving it to someone else.

      It was a family-owned business since 1974.

      You won’t hear about that from Brian (I wanna sleep with obama)Williams. Or any other MSM for that matter.

      So, I’ll go with your thoughts on that. But like John MG and I have said, it really doesn’t matter. Government is taking over things and so far, the sound we hear from our elected defenders is the chirp of crickets.

      I would think our dear republican party would be standing on a desk or two and screaming out the obvious.

      But ……no.

      And when I think about it too much, I get depressed and angry again.

      It just troubles me to no end.

    • JohnMG says:

      Thanks, Pro, and Rusty, for having this exchange. And thanks to Steve for providing the forum in which it could occur. It’s extremely gratifying to read the posts on this site and to digest the comments and analysis. This site, and the people posting here, is the BEST possible destination for anyone seeking well-reasoned, thought-provoking commentary.

      Bless you, ladies and gentlemen, one and all.

    • Lurkin_no_mo says:

      Heck, Rusty. I thought that destroying OUR country, which is not necessarily HIS, was his primary objective.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:


      Sure, I agree that he wants to destroy it. But the methodology to me was more systemic rather than systematic. Before reading Pro’s well-put analysis, I thought twig-boy to be something of a great dictator wanna-be in a high chair. Which, largely I still do. However, I have to agree that he’s sitting in a position to hear the advice of other angry, more devious and cunning pricks who have an agenda that may not necessarily match his but who are even more desirous of power and will stop at nothing to that end.

      I still think Barry is what I most commonly refer to as a f****n’ idiot with an agenda, which is, perhaps the most dangerous idiot of all. Like the high-school kids I used to watch years ago with an anger to vent, who would take a good program in school and turn it upside-down and destroy it simply out of spite.

      And yes, I do agree that he’s doing everything and anything he can to upset the apple cart at every corner the way one might watch a new mafia boss do just that in Chicago and then laugh.

      Perhaps my point is better directed at his sophomoric engine and attitude. The way it’s done while seemingly more intelligent black people like Rice and Powell just now dress in the gang colors and get in the pimped-out ride of the head n*****r’s car.

      Like so many reasonable people, I stand here and watch and though I can easily see what the heck just happened, I am no less angry that it did. That in this land where believing in real fairness should mean something, it’s replaced by bold, caustic racism which is the new name of fairness and feeling like a Jew in 1933 Germany and waiting for the new Krystalnacht.

      Is it too far of a stretch to wait for the night where a bunch of black guys who were normal at one point , take over my house and steal my German sports car, my LCD TV, kill my dog and then simply kill me and drag my body around like a trophy all because of some perceived injustice from 1860 through 1960?

      Is that what I have to look forward to?

      ‘Cuz I ain’t stickin’ my head in the sand and letting it happen.

      And I ain’t stickin’ around either. I live in the South and there are things I’ll put up with but this isn’t one of them. If they really want it that badly and I happen to KNOW how bad it’ll get. I also happen to KNOW what it will turn into. Might be the elephant in the room to some but it’s pretty obvious to me.

      1) I will protect what’s mine and
      2) barring that protection I will leave. Just like the Jews who were smart enough in the 1930’s.

      I will watch from Australia while the blacks take it over, ruin it, turn it into an african third-world nation with goofy, idiotic pseudo-regime warriors running the show; Gangster politics and drug-cartels with flashy cars, war-zones and puff-daddy types pushing people around…

      Shiny gum-wrapper people…. Yeah, it’ll be great.

      I just find it difficult to believe it’s happening here.

  8. JohnMG says:

    …..”Whether he knows that he is the creation of long-dead communist architects or not doesn’t matter…..”

    Interesting points all around, PR and Rusty. I don’t quite know which perspective I lean toward more, but in essense it doesn’t really matter. Whichever it might be, or if it is something entirely different from either of your musings, the damage is still the same. And if left unaddressed it will be damned near impossible to reverse. I agree totally with the barely-disguised anger. He has always appeared spiteful to me, and never less hidden than when he’s ‘stickin’ it to whitey. I find it ironic that he’s hauling the water for a bunch of “dead white guys”, though.

  9. aprilnovember811 says:

    Record fine for Soros ‘illegal manipulation of financial markets’
    Notice the date that the illegal market manipulation occured. This is the man behind the teleprompter. I’ve already written the CIA, FBI terrorist tip line, Governors, Congressmen etc. It seems as if no one within a postion of authority wants to believe it could happen here. Just like prior to 9/11. He is behind Obama and funded him heavily.

  10. Confucius says:

    Well, what do you know. Obama manages to piss off another ally. So much for our image.

    On the bright side, this sets up an international feud between two unions. I wonder whose bat is bigger.

  11. mybrotherkeeper says:

    No wonder my ma’s family left.

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