An exceptional 12-month layoff period has been agreed for the remaining 65 employees at Gifar, which belongs to the Italian Melania group, as part of a deal with the unions, supported by the Marche region, to avoid the final shutdown of its factory near Ascoli Piceno. Their wages will be subsidized by the state during the whole period. Another 20 employees of Gifar will lose their jobs, half as many as planned. The large Melania group, which specializes in children’s shoes, has three other plants in the region employing about 150 persons. Its shoes are mostly produced in Romania and other low-cost countries. China has become recently a source, too.