ROME (AP) -- Union leaders and Fiat's chief executive say 60,000 jobs could be lost in Italy's auto sector unless the government comes to its rescue.
The government is to open talks this week on possible aid for the auto sector, which has been hit hard by the global economic crisis.
Last week, Fiat, Italy's largest private-sector employer, reported a 70 percent drop in fourth-quarter profit. The company blamed the result on a slump in demand for its cars as the economic slowdown hit some key markets.
Fiat also said it expects demand to drop a further 20 percent in 2009.
Talks between government, unions and industry officials are set to open Wednesday.