TURIN, Italy -- Italy Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said today he backs a possible Fiat-Chrysler alliance.
I do not know how many chances the operation has because I am not aware of details, but I gave my strongest wishes that the deal would go ahead, Berlusconi said.
According to Reuters, Belusconi said a successful deal would give Fiat a big boost internationally and on the U.S. market.
Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne is in the United States this week to meet trade unions and creditors after President Barack Obama gave Chrysler LLC 30 days to set up a partnership with Fiat. Without such a partnership, Chrysler faces possible bankruptcy.
Separately, Italys Industry Minister Claudio Scajola told reporters in Milan that an eventual Fiat-Chrysler deal would benefit the entire Italian industrial system.
Six months ago we would have imagined a large U.S. company was going to buy Fiat while now Fiat is in the process of buying a U.S. carmaker, Scajola said in published reports.
Reuters contributed to this report