Confindustria to Orsini, Garrone withdraws: “We need independence”

Confindustria to Orsini, Garrone withdraws: “We need independence”

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Emanuele Orsini, Emilian wood and food entrepreneur, 50 years old, he will be the new president of the Italian industrialists, of which he has been vice president for the last four years. The general council of Confindustria will designate his name this morning, in a vote that was announced on the wire until a few hours ago, and for which he remained the only candidate. The turning point came yesterday, when the other industrialist left in the running, i.e the president of the Erg group Edoardo Garrone announced his step back. A move motivated in a letter with “a sense of responsibility” towards the association and the desire to allow Orsini to lead it “without conditioning”. Letter to which Orsini himself responded with thanks for having been put in a position to “choose the best team in total freedom” and – already as president in pectore – with the commitment to “bring our Confindustria back to the necessary credibility”.

Words of unity among which, however, filter the echoes of a poisonous and divisive presidential campaign as has rarely happened. And whose final change is also linked to the figure of the third candidate, the president of Duferco and Federacciai Antonio Gozzi, who the wise men of the association excluded from the decisive vote with a choice contested by the person directly involved. In recent days, the race has started between Orsini and Garrone to win the votes of those who had supported Gozzi in the first phase. Votes that, also due to the hostility towards the other Ligurian Garrone, pushed to run by Emma Marcegaglia and other great industrialists of the North after he had already taken to the track, Gozzi was moving towards Orsini. Sources close to Garrone say that yesterday the game was still open and that the withdrawal arises from the desire not to produce a “Pyrrhic victory” and a president in check. But those who have the vote bag at hand maintain that Orsini had now accumulated a solid advantage and that the president of Erg would have stepped aside to prevent Gozzi from being decisive in his victory. Before retiring Garrone, who is also president of the Sole24Oreone of the prized seats of the Confindustria galaxy, he would have obtained from Orsini a commitment to relaunch Luiss. But yesterday Gozzi’s entourage also claimed to have been decisive.

To understand which of the two “big” litigants – and their supporters – will have lost the least, we will have to wait for the next steps, starting with the presidential team that Orsini will announce on the 18th, before the ratification of the appointment by the assembly. Orsini certainly won, the entrepreneur with the smallest company behind him, but capable as outgoing deputy with responsibility for credit of setting up a campaign characterized by discontinuity compared to the unappreciated Bonomi management and of gathering transversal consensus, also strengthened from the endorsement of Intesa Sanpaolo CEO Carlo Messina and by widespread sympathies within the government.

But the task that awaits him is not easy. If it is true that his victory comes without agreements, he will have to compose a presidential team in which, in addition to his supporters, there will also be space for the territories and associations that supported Garrone (Lombardy and Piedmont primarily) and Gozzi (steel and chemical ), preventing rust from blocking its action. And demonstrate that to relaunch Confindustria in Italy and Europe, in this phase of great transitions and geopolitical challenges, an entrepreneur with a large company behind him is not necessary, as many of Gozzi and Garrone’s supporters thought. A first measure of his strength – and of the real unity of the industrialists – will be obtained today, counting how many of the 187 members of the general council will arrive in Viale dell’Astronomia and how many valid votes the only remaining candidate will have.

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