Europe crisis hits Italy manufacturing

An employee works in a Fiat Abarth factory in Turin, Italy. (file photo)

Economic crisis in Europe has put a negative impact on Italyâ„¢s manufacturing capacity, forcing companies in the recession-ravaged country to cut thousands of jobs, Press TV reports.

According to the figures recently released by Italy’s leading industrial association Confindustria, economic downturn has destroyed 15 percent of the countryâ„¢s manufacturing capacity.

During 2009-2012, economic problems led to the closure of some 55,000 manufacturing companies in the country and the loss of some 539,000 Italian manufacturing jobs.

Last week, the head of Confindustria, Giorgio Squinzi, warned over the issue, saying “This is a problem that has to be tackled, because once (businesses are) closed, there is no re-opening.”

He also added that Å“Italian companies will probably be forced to cut more jobs in the coming months.”

This is while Italyâ„¢s unemployment rate reached its highest level in at least 36 years.

The Rome-based national statistics office, Istat, said last month that the jobless rate for people between the age of 15 and 24 rose to 40.5 percent in April, the highest since the institute started collecting data on Italy in 1977.

Joblessness soared to 12 percent in April after the March reading was revised up to 11.9 percent from an initial 11.5 percent, Istat said.

Italians have been staging protests against high unemployment, economic adversity, and hardship over a series of government-imposed austerity packages in the recent past.

The government says the reforms are needed to create jobs, increase competition, and cut costs in the economy.

Italy started to experience recession after its economy contracted by 0.2 percent in the third quarter of 2011 and by 0.7 percent in the yearâ„¢s fourth quarter.

Europe plunged into financial crisis in early 2008. The worsening debt crisis has forced the EU governments to adopt harsh austerity measures and tough economic reforms, which have triggered incidents of social unrest and massive protests in many European countries.

MAM/PR

This article originally appeared on: Press TV