Crime and Court news / Economy / Fashion

Fatal fire in Italy unveils illegal Chinese cloth industry

Seven Chinese illegal workers were killed by a fire on Sunday in Prato, Tuscany.

The victims were living and working in near slavery in an illegal cloth factory. They were unable to escape because of the bars blocking the windows.

The zone is a well-known hub of the Chinese cloth industry, nearly always operating outside the rules and forcing many traditional and regular Italian competitors to close.

When the mourning will be over, the tragedy is likely to fuel further resentment against what is widely perceived as unfair Chinese competition.

Prato used one to be a thriving district of Italian fashion before being disrupted by such competition. It was there that, in 2003, Minister of Economy Giulio Tremonti advocated the imposition of duties against Chinese products.

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