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CLARA MOSCHINI

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Alitalia: the Government looking for solutions

The only certainty is the need to involve a foreign company

Among the few certainties that for the relaunch of Alitalia is that it will serve an international partner -European or not- that guarantees an important economic investment of about 2 billion of euros, which would serve both to ensure full operation and to lay the foundations renewal of the aircraft fleet. Excluding the declarations of the Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Labor and Economic Development (MISE) Luigi Di Maio, there are not many pieces regarding the participation of public companies such as Ferrovie dello Stato and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP)to relaunch the airline; just as it would not seem to have been planned a common strategy with the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) to convert a part of the equity bridge loan, which would guarantee the state presence in the equity package.

The "newco" that should buy Alitalia seems to exist more on words than on paper, and without a foreign industrial partner it will be difficult to establish itself. The are the contacts, and the confirmation came yesterday by easyJet from where it was announced that the Italian company still interested as long as it "is restructured". Hardly even the mysterious Chinese investors and the Americans of Delta are willing to take over most of the investment without asking for a reduction in costs (and waste) in return; on this however Di Maio and also Matteo Salvini have always opposed, assuring that Alitalia will not be sold off and that the current levels of employment will be maintained. The main problem, however, is represented by the initial investment to be borne by the State proposed by the holder of the Mise since it would serve about 700 million euros for 51% of the company and if a part -about 300 million- could come from the bridge loan, the remainder should be placed by Fs for which, however, the posts were also placed by Minister Giovanni Tria, who specified how the railway group will be able to intervene "only for industrial and non-financial operations". Even CDP may not participate in the financial plan, both because the board -especially the foundations- is in part contrary to similar "adventures" and because the MEF was asked to clarify what the role in Alitalia of the public financial institution could be. Tria has not yet expressed himself, but he said he was willing to discuss and evaluate every possible operation on the condition that respects the EU rules.

M/A - 1215234

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