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Coronavirus

Italian Industry Denies It Opposed COVID-19 Lockdowns

ROME — The head of Italy’s leading business lobby is denying that industrial interests opposed coronavirus lockdowns in the hard-hit Lombardy region, blaming instead mismanagement of the outbreak by political authorities.

Carlo Bonomi told reporters Monday that Confindustria was being scapegoated for political and ideological reasons and insisted that the lobby group always acted correctly. He said Confindustria’s main concern was how to reopen factories in safety, with protective gear and contact-tracing systems.

He said: “I’m sorry to see the production system being blamed when the reality it was the lack of management at the level of the public administration.”

Prosecutors in the Lombardy province of Bergamo are investigating the lack of lockdowns in the Bergamo towns of Alzano and Nembro, where positive cases were first recorded Feb. 23. The Superior Institute of Health recommended a lockdown on March 3, but no decision was taken until all of Lombardy was locked down March 7-8. The two towns are located in the industry-heavy Seriana valley.

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