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Alitalia airplanes. Gentiloni calls on the sense of responsibility and regrets Air France's offer

Rome, Italy - Meanwhile Calenda repeats his intention to sell by February

If the offer of 2008 by Air France had been still available "we would take it immediately", the Italian President of the Council of Ministers Paolo Gentiloni said at the end-of-the-year press conference that took place today in Rome, talking about Alitalia. Answering the question about a possible solution for the Italian airline before next elections and about the criteria for choosing among the three takeover bids, Gentiloni recalled: "I was already part of a government that was at the final stage of its experience, the "Prodi II" government and the last Council of Ministers meeting with long time dissolved Chambers had in its agenda a bridge loan for Alitalia, because a solution that a very good Minister of Economy, Padoa-Schioppa, had imagined with Air France had been obstructed by the combined provisions of the oppositions of the time, which politically had winds in its sails, and workers' unions". Gentiloni hopes that a solution "may come quickly", "that the offers that are on the table may also be improved, in some ways it is necessary, and that the employees, workers and public opinion, travellers, customers, may have a great sense of responsibility". The President of the Council does not forget the referendum by which the workers of the airline rejected the proposals of the company last April: "we had done quite a hard job for the new business plan, new investments by the shareholders of Alitalia, it was one of the problems that I had to deal with as soon as I got my assignment at Palazzo Chigi -seat of the Italian Government- and the fact that that solution which I believe was a positive one was rejected by a referendum of the employees was in my opinion a respectable but wrong thing. Therefore let's see the offers, we hope they will get better, we call on everybody's sense of responsibility". Always today in a radio interview the Italian Minister for Economic Development Carlo Calenda repeated his will to close the procedure for the sale of the airline within February: "I want to end this story for the Italian people and most of all I want to spend as little as possible of those 900 million euros - of the brige loean- that today are still untouched in the special administration, but that with the season going downward and oil going up risk to be spent quickly". For further details also see AVIONEWS 1, 2 and 3

AVIONEWS - 1209343

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