Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Could an entire town go bust?

Don't put all your eggs into one basket

One BasketPomigliano d’Arco is a town of about 40,000 inhabitants in Italy. It lies northeast of Naples and quite near to Mount Vesuvius, once the scene of some real fall-out. The town basically has one industry – automobiles. And it also has only one kind of car – Fiat. The entire town relies on Fiat for its very life.

Disaster country

Mimmo Vacchiano stands outside the locked gates of the Fiat car plant and says there is going to be a disaster unless its gates reopen. And the people in this part of Italy know all about disasters. "If this plant closes, there’s nothing else here, only unemployment." But there is something else in the town and that is organized crime on a massive scale. "We can choose which way to go - unemployment, crime or a volcanic eruption," says the 48-year-old father of two.

We live in panic

"We're living in panic. Every morning I promise myself that today is the day I will take a Personal Loan and buy railway tickets for my family so we can move to Northern Italy where there is still hope. Here in the south job opportunities are zero. This place is going to be like Pompeii after Vesuvius blew her top."

Unemployment

Unemployment in Pomigliano already runs at nearly 20 percent and Fiat’s temporary closure of the plant - in a bid to slash costs, same as other major automakers - has brought the town to its knees. Fiat employs 5,000 people directly and the plant provides jobs for 20,000 if suppliers are taken into account. ... click here to read the rest of the article titled "Could an entire town go bust?"

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