Plea to Fiat not to abandon Italy

The Italian Industry Minister, Flavio Zanonato, has asked Fiat to stay in Italy following its planned merger with Chrysler, which has led labour unions to fear that the car maker plans to move its headquarters to the United States.

Italy's biggest industrial company holds a 58.5 cent stake in Chrysler and plans to buy out the American car company and seek a listing on the New York Stock Exchange, most probably next year.

Fears of a Fiat move resurfaced after regulatory filings showed that its sister company, Fiat Industrial, which makes trucks and tractors, plans to shift its tax domicile to Britain after a merger with the US equipment manufacturer CNH.

"I've spoken to [Fiat's chief executive, Sergio] Marchionne. It was a friendly phone conversation and I told him what I will tell him when we meet face to face: I will ask him for Fiat to stay in Italy and continue being an Italian company," Mr Zanonato said.