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By G. Grant Amyot

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Extra info for Business, The State and Economic Policy: The Case of Italy (Routledge Advances in Europeanpolitics)

Example text

But exercise effective control thanks to a ‘controlling syndicate’ (a device at least as common as the Chinese box technique, but with a dubious legal foundation). A controlling syndicate is an association of shareholders who together hold a controlling interest in a company and who agree to vote their shares as a bloc; legally, these pacts probably have the status of simple gentlemen’s agreements. The controlling syndicate of Pirelli & C. 55 per cent), the Orlando family, the SAI insurance company, and Camillo De Benedetti, cousin of Carlo.

Financial operations were also a significant source of profit. Therefore, labour relations were not as crucial as for the Fordist firms. Furthermore, these industries did not produce consumer durables and therefore did not rely on the expansion of domestic purchasing power. For these reasons, they supported a strong anti-union stance. On the other hand, they were largely state industries, in which clientelistic practices aimed at the generation of political consent were widespread; their leaders, such as Cefis, were aware of the need for such consent.

The Agnellis also own La Stampa, the Turin daily, as well as Turin’s beloved soccer team, Juventus. They also own three minor publishing houses, as well as the Rinascente department-store chain. 6 The vast Fiat empire, like almost all major Italian firms, is family- rather than management-controlled. The typical technique used in Italy to maintain family control is a series of holding companies arranged like ‘Chinese boxes’. The Agnellis’ control is relatively secure: the family members (led by Gianni Agnelli until his death in January 2003) own virtually all the shares of Giovanni Agnelli & Co..

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