Milan “last bastion of Italian commerce”, FT says

PM Renzi “seeks to build on city’s success”.

London’s leading economic daily, the Financial Times, has analysed why Italy’s prime minister Matteo Renzi appears to be concentrating his attention on the country’s financial capital.

In an article headlined “Italy’s Renzi looks to Milan as Rome loses lustre”, correspondent Rachel Sanderson describes how “Milan has become central to the 41-year-old prime minister’s efforts as he prepares for a crucial referendum on constitutional reform this autumn.”

She explains that, although “sometimes derided as Italy’s ugly, industrial sister, Milan was given a welcome makeover to host the Expo 2015 event. This year it overtook Florence to become the country’s third most visited city.”

And Sanderson lists the major players based in the city – not only Italian fashion leaders like Armani, Prada, Gucci and Versace, but also international major league concerns like Samsung, Google, Microsoft and Siemens. Although the city has long been identified with the fashion industry, other sectors are well represented too, from Luxottica to Pirelli, Intesa Sanpaolo to UniCredit, Telecom Italia to Mediaset – not to mention the Stock Exchange.

The FT analysis explains how “Milan has become the last bastion of Italian commerce as joblessness and economic decline, traditionally associated with the country’s south, sweeps north.”

Sanderson concludes with a remark by “King Giorgio” Armani: “I’ve always believed in the immense possibilities of this city — even in its darkest moments.”