Pope Benedict has spoken out against the planned closure of a Fiat plant in Sicily.
Speaking at the end of his weekly Angelus blessing, the Pope said: “The economic crisis is causing the loss of many jobs and this calls for a huge sense of responsibility by everyone: entrepreneurs, workers, governing officials.
"I think of some difficult situations in Italy, like, for example, Termini Imerese and Portovesme... Do everything possible to protect and spur job growth, assuring dignified and adequate work to sustain families."
At present, the Fiat factory in Termini Imerse is to close at the end of 2011, costing over 1400 jobs. Fiat says the cost of delivering parts to Sicily costs it an additional 1000 euros per car.
The Pope's mention of Portovesme is believed to be in reference to Alcoa's plans to cloe an alumnium plant there.
Fiat has released a statement saying that it is willing to hand over the plant to any serious business that would help preserve jobs.