Northern Italy’s economy in a state of emergency – “measures are radical but correct”

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Northern Italy's economy in a state of emergency -





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All of Lombardy and 14 other provinces, including Venice, Parma and Modena, have limited mobility.


Companies are trying to strike a balance between going ahead and government decree. Production starts again, but under larger hygiene regulations.

The Milanese had prepared for a two-week state of emergency – nothing more. Normality should therefore return, schools and universities should reopen, and above all the economy in Lombardy should start up again. This contributes a third to the Italian gross domestic product. “Milan doesn’t stop,” the mayor had posted as a hashtag in a much-clicked image film.

But it got worse: Drastic measures have been in effect since this Monday, which the government in Rome decided on Monday night: Limited mobility applies to all of Lombardy and 14 other provinces, including Venice, Parma and Modena.

The “red zones” have been removed. But everyone who wants to get in or out of the now “orange zones” must show his reason at one of the numerous police controls. The regulation affects at least 16 million people. There is already a form to fill out on the net.

“We get a lot of inquiries about the situation, but we are by no means in full quarantine, as it may seem from the outside,” said JOrg Buck, executive board member of the German-Italian Chamber of Commerce in Milan.

“The transports are not affected and the logistics are not affected. Deliveries from and to Italy It is important that the applicable hygiene regulations are complied with and that every driver has a self-declaration that he has not previously been in one of the quarantined communities.

“We are now all in the home office,” says the head of communications for a fashion company in Milan. “Even the last employees in the offices are at home, but fortunately that is no problem.” Employees from other industries also confirm this. Only private life is very limited, since everything is closed. None of the respondents saw hamster purchases that supermarkets were filled normally.

Production continues in the north. Many companies that work internationally report normalcy on their own initiative. So does the tire manufacturer Pirelli, which has its administrative center in the Milan district of Bicocca. There are no restrictions on production. All business services are guaranteed, it says in a message.

3247 employees are needed for production in Italy, Pirelli said. The health of the workers is never endangered. In China, too, the group is slowly returning to normal.

Not only Lombardy and Veneto are affected by the new measures. The province of Modena, where Ferrari’s headquarters are located, is also subject to the restrictions. Like Pirelli, Ferrari confirms full operational readiness: the necessary precautions have been taken. The staff can work in the best possible way, according to the headquarters in Maranello. However, the continuity depends on the supplierswith whom you are in regular exchange.

The areas affected in Italy also include the province of Parma, where Barillas headquarters are located. “We immediately started to implement all the measures decided to protect the health and safety of the staff,” says the pasta maker. As of today, there are no restrictions in the production facilities. “Our products are safe and healthy,” said a spokesman for Barilla.

Striking: No entrepreneur criticizes the government’s drastic decisions – but it does criticize the confusion and communication of the first few hours. “The measures are radical, maximum, but correct,” says JOrg Buck, head of the German-Italian Chamber of Commerce. The association represents 1,900 German companies in Italy, half of which are located in the north. This includes Lidl, Allianz, Deutsche Bank, Beiersdorf, BASF, many mechanical engineering companies and automotive suppliers.

Generous donations

“It’s all about health care, the number of beds in the intensive care units,” says Buck. And it is about a clear appeal to citizenship and self-commitment. It is difficult to make predictions, but Italy will make it, Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said earlier this week. With all good will, many entrepreneurs are waiting for government grants that have been underway for a week and are only due to be enforced at the end of the week.

The fashion industry, as well as the banks, are generous in the emergency situation. Fashion designer Giorgio Armani donated 1.25 million euros to hospitals and civil defense on Monday. Dolce & Gabbana, Bulgari and others had previously donated to research institutes.

More: The economy is suffering from the consequences of the corona epidemic, the full extent of which has yet to be seen. But government stimulus programs do not help.

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