"An obscene and irresponsible performance staged by many of you is no longer acceptable to a huge number of Italians" - these words begin an open letter sent by Tod's chairman Diego Della Valle to Italian politicians. Valle bought full pages in major national newspapers - Il Sole 24 Ore, Il Corriere della Sera and Gazzetta dello Sport - to publish his statement. His letter criticizes both right and left politicians for putting their own and party interests above state interests. Such behavior "leads us to disaster and irreparably undermines Italy's reputation in the world," said Delle Valle, adding that only a small fraction of the modern class of politicians are qualified, serious, worthy of respect, care about the public good and love their country.
Della Valle's statement reflects the growing sense of dissatisfaction that Italian industrialists have with regards to government and politicians. This hostility arose after several scandals, unfulfilled promises of structural reforms, lack of industrial policy and extravagant decision-making. Emma Marchegaglia, head of the Confindustria employer confederation, said the government should resign if it is incapable of reform; and business diary Il Sole 24 Ore called for the resignation of Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.
The recently elected chairman of the Italian Shoe Industry Association, Cleto Sagripanti, has publicly disagreed with the government’s decision to raise the value added tax from 20% to 21%. He noted that the Confederation of Employers has approved a tax increase provided that government spending is reduced simultaneously, primarily the so-called “cost of politicians”. Italy has recently launched a massive campaign aimed at reducing the privileges of politicians, reducing or eliminating local authorities, and reducing parliament. According to Sagripanti, many of the ANCI members are unhappy that the government has failed to fulfill its side of the agreement with the Confederation.
ANCI and Sistema Moda Italia (SMI), representing clothing and textile manufacturers, are also concerned about the government’s decision to abolish the Italian Foreign Trade Institute (ICE). SMI Chairman Michele Tronconi said that the abolition of ICE creates a “vacuum” in the development of trade, which affects small and medium-sized enterprises, especially at a time when France and Germany are increasing allocations for export development. This is reported by Analpa.