Italy PM Issue New Decree Shutting Down More of the Country

New measures from March 23 to April 3

Italy PM Issue New Decree Shutting Down More of the Country

Italy Prime Minister Conte announced new measures against the COVID-19 coronavirus that will last from March 23 until April 3.

The new decree involves all Italian factories, with the exception of strategic ones. PM Conte said, “We will close all non-crucial production activities. But supermarkets, food, pharmacies and para-pharmacies will remain open. Essential services will be guaranteed: banking, postal, insurance, financial and transport.”

PM Conte said: “It is a painful choice. We slow down the country’s production engine, but we don’t stop it. The state is there. Never before has our community tightened as a chain to protect the most important asset; if only one link in this chain should yield, everyone would be exposed to greater dangers.”

Conte’s paternalistic message did not calm the reactions of the companies that asked the government to postpone the decree to include other production activities to be kept open and to adapt to the new provision.

Workers protest and unions threaten strikes

The workers of the Lombardy metalworking companies will strike on Wednesday, March 25, for 8 hours. The general secretary of the FIM-CISL, Marco Bentivogli, explained that the decision “was made so that Lombardy is considered a region where more restrictive measures are needed on the activities to be left open.”

Workers from companies in the chemical, textile, and rubber-plastic sector who do not have essential and public utility products will also join the strike for 8 hours.

The Lombardy regional unions Filtem Cgil, Femca Cisl, and Uiltec, protest the decision to include in the business activities to be considered essential (codes of economic activities – Ateco) a series of activities of various kinds that essentially have nothing, saying it weakens the decree and creates the effect of reducing to a minimum the number of female workers who will be able to stay at home.

The new self-certification form

The Italy Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Interior have signed a new ordinance to prevent people from fleeing south after the further stop to work.

It provides for a ban on moving from the municipality where one is found (by any means), except for “proven work needs, of absolute urgency or for health reasons.”

Travelers departing for Salerno and Naples have already been rejected in Milan, Italy.

Aerospace sector

Workers of companies in the aerospace sector (Leonardo, Ge Avio, Fata Logistic System, Lgs, Vitrociset, Mbda, Dema, Cam, and Dar) are also on strike today against the extension of the indispensable activities by the government, compared to what was agreed with unions.

The banking unions Fabi, First Cisl, Fisac Cgil, Uilca, and Unisin have prepared the mobilization of the category and threatened the strike. In a letter to the ABI (Italian Banking Association), to Federcasse, to all the banks, and, for information, to the Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte denounced how “the employees of the sector, among whom there are many cases of positivity to coronavirus, do not operate in safety conditions,” working without masks, gloves, and disinfectants.

The General Confederation of Italian Industry (Confindustria) said we lose 100 billion every month. Of diametrically-opposed opinion, and not surprisingly, Confindustria states: “With this decree, a question arises that from the economic emergency makes us enter the war economy.” The opinion of President Vincenzo Boccia, who after stopping all non-essential economic activities warned: “If we close 70% of the activities, it means that we lose 100 billion a month,” and on the general strike threatened by the unions, he commented: “I honestly can’t understand that.”

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