Italy: More State Control

Nobody expected miracles when Cesare Merzagora, an accomplished businessman and former leader of Italy's Senate, took over six months ago as president of Montecatini-Edison, the country's largest industrial firm. The Milan headquarters of the overdiversified chemical colossus was torn at the top by a management divided into two hostile camps—representatives of the government's substantial interest and champions of private investors (including the Agnelli and Pirelli families)—which held equal stakes. Directors had hoped that the appointment of Merzagora, 71, would keep both factions in balance and allay fears that the state was...

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