Italy: Fiat resumes output after strike image

Fiat has resumed production on Monday morning, 30 January following the end of a strike by truck drivers on Friday, 27 January.

The maker of the Punto and Panda models has lost production of 8,400 vehicles since the start of the strike.
Last week truckers blocked roads throughout Italy and taxi drivers resumed a strike as opposition mounted to fuel tax rises and economic reforms aimed at opening up competition in protected sectors including transport and pharmacies.

The truckers’ demands include easier rules on claiming reimbursement of excise duty on fuel, caps on insurance costs and a crackdown on unlicensed transport operators.

Drivers are suffering from higher levies on fuel included in a 20 billion-euro austerity package passed by Prime Minister Mario Monti’s government last month that left Italy with the region’s highest gasoline prices, currently about $9 a gallon.

Italian business confidence fell in January to the lowest in more than two years as the economy probably entered into a recession under the weight of austerity measures to fight the sovereign debt crisis.
Fiat SpA may see its European sales decline by 500,000 cars a year as fallout from the debt crisis hits growth and demand, Chief Executive Officer Sergio Marchionne said earlier this month.