Almost 8 tables a month from pandemic till today. More or less 1 every 3 working days. From 9 March 2020, the date of the first Italian lockdown, 152 summits on companies in crisis , certified in as many minutes reviewed by the Sole-24 Ore. For some of the more complex cases (Whirlpool, Treofan, Jabil, Bekaert) up to 7, 8 meetings often without reaching an outcome.
The meetings in Via Veneto
One hundred and fifty-two is therefore not the number of pending crises at Bet, but that of the meetings that for years, an element common to practically all the managements of the ministry without political distinction, go on with the parade of company administrators and trade unionists in a liturgy that has often winked at local politicians and indulged for a few hours the noise of the demonstrators crowded under the monumental bronze door of Via Veneto.
The results of this ritual, however, are almost always disappointing, as also underlined by the trade unions, who do not find correspondence between their monitoring and the numbers on the open crises provided by the government: 85 and decreasing according to the latest data provided by the Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Economic Development Alessandra Todde, which has the delegation on this matter.
The list with the individual crises, which would help to understand whether the decline derives from positive solutions or rather from an unsuccessful closure of the dossiers, is not published by the Mise. At least that has been the case until now. A directive of the Minister of Economic Development Giancarlo Giorgetti, currently being registered with the Court of Auditors, provides that “in order to ensure transparency and accessibility of information relating to corporate crisis management” it must be published on the Mise website, every 6 months, a report on the activity that gives an account of the open tables.
The same directive tries to restore order to the whole matter and to give a clearer scope of action to the corporate crisis structure whose coordination, since last July, has been entrusted to Luca Annibaletti, accountant, with a background in the consulting firms Deloitte and Ernst & Young.
Preliminary investigation to understand better
Between July and September Annibaletti coordinated 20 round tables for 14 companies, based on the material inherited from Mise. In the meantime, however, it has launched an investigation to understand which tables must actually be considered still open, which ones have instead been erroneously labeled as closed and consequently provide an updated balance sheet, more scientific and less conditioned by political discretion.
The structure will deal with crises that “justify a discussion at national level” as they concern companies with at least 250 employees, including temporary workers, apprentices and workers with part-time contracts; or companies located in more than one region in Italy, whose crisis can have significant impacts on employment levels and on the national production system; companies of significant national interest that hold strategic assets; companies owning historical brands.
How crises are to be counted
Outside this perimeter, crises opened by the Ministry of Labor, when there are formal collective dismissal procedures, or by individual regions for mono-regional crises, where Mise enters the field by collaborating, must be counted.
The opening of a table can be requested by the company itself, its creditors, ministries or regions, trade unions or employers’ associations. And the closing of the table must be clearly communicated both in the case of overcoming the crisis, without prejudice to the possibility for the structure to activate the monitoring table; and for the proven impossibility of reaching a solution.