A nationwide blockade by Italian truckers is costing the country's economy at least EUR200 million a day, Italian business daily Il Sole 24 Ore reported Wednesday.
The paper said at least EUR50 million in fresh product is being lost to sales each day and noted that carmaker Fiat SpA (F.MI) has had to shut down some shifts due to the fact that supplies are not being delivered.
Appliance-makers Indesit Co. SpA (IND.MI), Whirlpool Corp. (WHR) and Electrolux AB (ELUXY) are also cutting back on shifts due to supply problems, while Italy's many shoe-making enterprises are also running out of material.
Italian truckers are protesting the high cost of fuel, which the government's latest austerity measures increased by adding a new excise tax, as well as high road tolls, which the government did not cut in its liberalization decree. Episodes of violence have occurred during the protest.
The disruption has led to shortages of gasoline and food. Markets in the city of Rome are receiving 70% less fruit and vegetables than usual, which has triggered an equal jump in prices for some items, pushing the humble zucchini or courgette to command as much as EUR6.50 a kilogram, daily Il Messaggero reported.