Marchionne is due to meet Silvio Berlusconi, the prime minister to explain his comments, most likely at the weekend, people close to both parties said on Monday.

During a recent visit to San Francisco, Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne reportedly raised the possibility of merging Fiat and Chrysler’s headquarters in the US after the Italian carmaker merges with the American automobile manufacturer based near Detroit, Michigan. ( more about this subject )

His comments caused outrage and indignation in Italy, where Fiat is a national symbol and the country’s largest private sector employer.

Trade unions and politicians have already accused Marchionne of “blackmail” in pushing through a tough deal on working conditions at Fiat’s flagship Mirafiori plant in Turin to save the factory from closure.

Today, Welfare Minister Maurizio Sacconi said the Italian-Canadian manager would soon have the chance to explain his comments to ministers and Industry Minister Paolo Romani confirmed the CEO would meet with Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi on Saturday.
Economic Minister Giulio Tremonti, Industry Minister Paolo Romani, Labour Minister Maurizio Sacconi and Cabinet Undersecretary Gianni Letta will also attend the meeting, the government said Monday evening.



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