Breaking News
Investing Pro 0
🙌 It's Here: the Only Stock Screener You'll Ever Need Get Started

No time to waste, worried Italian business leaders warn politicians

Published Sep 04, 2022 10:11AM ET Updated Sep 05, 2022 01:06AM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
3/3 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: An employee works at a ceramics factory where the workers start their shifts before dawn to optimise sunlight and save energy, in Citta di Castello, Italy, August 30, 2022. REUTERS/Jennifer Lorenzini/File Photo 2/3

By Valentina Za and Elvira Pollina

CERNOBBIO, Italy (Reuters) -Italy cannot afford weeks of political inertia after an election this month, business chiefs said, adding that sky-high energy prices are already forcing more and more firms to curtail production.

Gathered on the shores of Lake Como for the annual Ambrosetti Forum this weekend, business owners lashed out at politicians for ousting Prime Minister Mario Draghi in the midst of an energy crisis in Europe.

"Before the new government's ministers get their bearings it'll be Christmas, but we face problems that need tackling in days, not weeks," said Armando De Nigris, chairman of the balsamic vinegar maker of the same name.

Record gas prices have more than doubled the cost of condensing the grapes that go into the 35 million bottles of balsamic vinegar De Nigris produces every year.

"We risk producing something that we won't be able to sell in six months' time because we can't pass on the price increases," he said.

A centre-right bloc is on course for a clear victory in the Sept. 25 election but government formation is a notoriously slow process in Italy.

Industry lobby Confindustria last week warned Italy faced "an economic earthquake" due to higher energy prices and called for support from the caretaker administration led by Draghi, a former chief of the European Central Bank.

Italy has already earmarked over 50 billion euros this year to try to soften the impact of higher energy costs for firms and households and more help is expected this week.


Riccardo Illy, chairman of the Polo del Gusto food group that owns French tea brand Damman Freres and chocolate label Domori, feared Italy will miss out on some of the promised EU funds for its post-COVID recovery.

"Draghi could have continued till the end of his mandate ... whoever comes next will make us lose billions of euros," he said. Italy is in line for some 200 billion euros but the funds are conditional on it implementing a series of reforms.

Reliance on Russian gas and a large manufacturing sector made up predominantly of small businesses render the Italian economy particularly vulnerable to the energy crisis.

Since the Ukraine conflict started in February, many companies in energy-intensive sectors such as steel, glass, ceramics and paper have been forced to curtail production because production costs were too high.

"When the next (economy) minister sets out to solve our problems - and we can only hope he's the best of ministers - it may be too late," said Romano Pezzotti, who runs metals recycling business Fersovere near the northern city of Bergamo.

"After making the big mistake of toppling the government during the worst crisis of the past century ... politicians will need to again turn to somebody capable of solving the country's problems," he added.

The energy crisis casts the longest shadow.

"We all know what needs to be done," said Matteo Tiraboschi, executive chairman of premium brakes maker Brembo, a larger business listed on the Milan stock market.

"The energy bill in Italy has virtually doubled."

No time to waste, worried Italian business leaders warn politicians

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with other users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind:  

  •            Enrich the conversation, don’t trash it.

  •           Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed. 

  •           Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically. Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user. Racism, sexism and other forms of discrimination will not be tolerated.

  • Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases. Comments that are written in all caps and contain excessive use of symbols will be removed.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and comments containing links will be removed. Phone numbers, email addresses, links to personal or business websites, Skype/Telegram/WhatsApp etc. addresses (including links to groups) will also be removed; self-promotional material or business-related solicitations or PR (ie, contact me for signals/advice etc.), and/or any other comment that contains personal contact specifcs or advertising will be removed as well. In addition, any of the above-mentioned violations may result in suspension of your account.
  • Doxxing. We do not allow any sharing of private or personal contact or other information about any individual or organization. This will result in immediate suspension of the commentor and his or her account.
  • Don’t monopolize the conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also strongly believe in giving everyone a chance to air their point of view. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.
  • Any comment you publish, together with your profile, will be public on and may be indexed and available through third party search engines, such as Google.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Comments (1)
Benjamin USA
Benjamin USA Sep 04, 2022 12:04PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This comment has already been saved in your Saved Items
Russian influence is destroying Italy. Instead of making pro business reforms the extremists funded by Russia want to try a bunch of failed ideas instead.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email