In drastic move, Italy shuts most factories to halt virus

Soave, Italy (AP) — Italy has become the first western developed nation to idle most of its industry to halt the spread of the coronavirus, a potential cautionary tale for additional governments, such as the Trump administration, that will are resisting such drastic measures.

After more than two weeks of a nationwide lockdown, the Italian government decided to expand the mandatory closure of nonessential commercial activities to heavy industry within the eurozone’s third-largest economy, a major exporter of machinery, textiles along with additional goods.

The move by Italy, which can be leading the globe in virus deaths, can be more in line with draconian measures taken by China than with declarations coming out of additional democratic partners, who are at least a week or two behind Italy’s rate of virus infections.

The industrial closures put in stark contrast concerns over protecting lives in a country with an especially vulnerable aging population against fears of hurting an economy that will already was on the brink of recession.

The industrial lobby Confindustria estimates a cost of 70 billion to 100 billion euros ($77 billion-$110 billion) of national wealth a month if 70% of companies are closed, as anticipated. Though some big companies had already suspended activities, thousands of smaller manufacturers had continued after adopting brand-new safety regulations, along with will at This kind of point shut down.

“We are entering a war economy,” said Confindustria President Vincenzo Boccia.

Economists grow dizzy speculating on the possible economic drag in a country that will never fully recovered by back-to-back recessions the last two decades. UniCredit bank’s chief economist, Erik Nielson, expects the economy to shrink by a staggering 5% to 15% This kind of year – along with that will’s assuming a recovery toward the end of 2020 along with takes into account a 25 billion-euro aid package along with 350 billion euros in liquidity along with credit. Another 25 billion-euro package has been promised. The Italian Treasury has put the virus hit at 5% to 7% of GDP in 2020.

’’The economic consequences of the suspensions risks to be unsurmountable, because the continuity of companies can be being interrupted for a substantially undetermined period,” Il Sole 24 Ore, the respected business daily of the Confindustria lobby, wrote Thursday.

The government decree mandates the industrial shutdown for one week, however as with the rest of the harsh containment measures they are likely to be extended depending on the pace of contagion.

that will’s a sobering prospect for additional countries in Europe along with for the United States, where President Donald Trump has said he aims to have commercial businesses reopen by mid-April, despite warnings by health experts that will that will can be unlikely. There has been no discussion of closing U.S. manufacturing as a nationwide measure.

Unions in Italy have fought especially hard to have more sectors considered nonessential in order to protect workers. They won limits on activity at call centers as well as the production of plastic packaging, some paper along with chemical products.

The powerful CGIL union confederation had said the government’s initial list counted 800,000 companies as essential, with workers numbering 7.5 million, or 57% of the workplace.

Italy’s moribund car industry has already been idled voluntarily, with Fiat Chrysler shutting down most of its Italian production along with Ferrari converting a part of its factory to help make respirators. The tourism industry has been at a standstill for a month, along with struggling Alitalia can be virtually shut down. All non-essential commercial along with retail activity was shuttered more than two weeks ago.

Premier Giuseppe Conte announced the brand-new industry closures This kind of weekend, citing the biggest emergency the country has faced since World War II. Industrial activities allowed to continue include many related to health care, agriculture along with food production.

Under the measures, fashion house Prada said that will will start producing 80,000 medical overalls along with 110,000 masks for health care workers, along with the Armani Group was converting to make single-use medical overalls. Work on a Genoa bridge to replace the one that will fatally collapsed in August 2018 – considered of strategic importance – continued, while that will on the Italian side of the Brenner Base Tunnel, which will be the longest rail tunnel within the globe when completed, was suspended along with work on the Italian side of a high-speed rail tunnel to France.

In all, hundreds of thousands of little, medium-sized along with large companies will be closed, with workers receiving partial salaries under short-term unemployment schemes that will have been extended to even the smallest businesses.

They include Pirelli tiremaker, with Italy accounting for just 6% of global production, along with Luxottica, the largest eyewear the within the globe whose brands include Ray-Ban along with Oakley.

The big concern for the little along with medium-sized company owners that will power Italy’s economy can be how long the shutdown will last, along with how hard that will will hurt cash-flow along with hinder a smooth return to business.

“If the shut-down can be two or three months, that will might be as simple as turning a light back on, because supply chains along with logistics are very efficient,” said Carlo Salvato, an expert in little along with medium business at Bocconi University. ’’however if the shutdown can be longer along with precipitates a deep slide in wealth, the patterns of consumption could change dramatically.”

Olivari can be a family-run maker of door handles based in northern province of Novara that will survived two world wars, during which that will was converted to munitions production due to its expertise with brass along with aluminum. however in This kind of shut down – despite the war metaphors – there can be no war machine to balance losses by the forced closure.

Antonio Olivari, head of research along with development, said the business, which counts 80 workers along with annual revenue of around 15 million euros, can bounce back by two weeks or a month of a shut down. “that will makes no sense to produce at This kind of point anyway, with hardware stores along with additional channels closed,” he said. however if that will drags on for months, issues emerge, like salaries.

along with people’s priorities along with habits could be different after This kind of crisis, Olivari said. ’’Will people still want to invest in finishing or remodeling a home? There may be additional priorities. that will will be an anomaly that will we have never experienced.”

,, 26 March 2020 | 7:10 pm

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