Italian businessman and Monaco resident spoke to two Italian media outlets.
Flavio Briatore shared his thoughts on wealth creation via his Instagram account, in video interviews with mediawebchannel.it and the Italian daily Libero.
"People don't understand that it is companies and investments that create wealth. I've never seen a poor person create jobs, but they take it out on the wealthy," he said on mediawebchannel.it.
The Monegasque resident went on to explain: "a rich guy isn't the guy who goes sailing in the Caribbean. When you're rich, you invest, constantly... We started out with a turnover of 10 million, today it is 140 million and we have 1,500 employees."
He made the same comments in an interview with the daily newspaper Libero, which he also shared on Instagram." I was born poor, I don't call them criminals", says the headline.
Flavio Briatore spoke at length about the accusations that have been made against him, saying that he was " criminalising the poor". The entrepreneur strongly denies this: "That's madness. I am a classic example of someone who was born poor, and made his fortune by working."
"We don't encourage young people to work any more"
He also took the opportunity to give his views on social welfare: "my claims are not baseless accusations, but a reflection of what is going on in my companies. When we conduct job interviews, the first things candidates ask are if they will have weekends off, what the holidays are. They want to have more free time. The mindset is changing and there is a lack of motivation.
I believe that these days they are convinced that they won't succeed, so they think they might as well stay at home and do nothing and receive 'citizenship income' [a universal income, launched in 2019 in Italy, ranging from €480 to €9,360 per year, Ed.] (…) I believe it is our sacred duty to help those who cannot work and have no other means of support, but it is madness to give this subsidy to young people aged 20 or 25, in a country that thrives on tourism between April and October. As a result, we are getting businesses in the sector into difficulties, and we don't encourage young people to work any more."
According to Flavio Briatore, the problem goes deeper than that. When asked about the storm that damaged his restaurant Twiga in Versilia last August, he regrets how some people revelled in the disaster: "For a whole day, many people laughed at our misfortune. It just goes to show how some people, consumed with jealousy and resentment, cannot bear it when someone does well. They want everyone to struggle. They would have been even happier if the hurricane had destroyed everything, Instead, thanks to our employees who worked thirty-six hours non-stop, we put everything to rights and the next evening we reopened it as if nothing had happened."