"Reasonable optimism" on Fiat-Chrysler deal: Italy minister

ROME Thu Apr 30, 2009 11:25am EDT

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ROME (Reuters) - There is "reasonable optimism" that a deal between Fiat and Chrysler could be announced on Thursday, Italy's industry minister said on Thursday after talking to Fiat's top management.

"I've spoken to them and I think there is reasonable optimism that (a deal) can be closed with an announcement perhaps even by President Obama today and we hope it is this way," Claudio Scajola told Italian television.

He said once Fiat has concluded a deal with Chrysler, it would have "good cards" to play in a reorganization of the European car sector.

He also said he expected Fiat to clarify its intentions on the future of jobs and plants in Italy after eventual deals.

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