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Alitalia. Vestager: "The Commission continues its investigation into State aid"

Probe still far from being closed

When asked about the examination of the Alitalia dossier by European parliamentarians, the European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager said -once again- that "no conclusion has yet been reached regarding possible State aid by Italy to the carrier". The Commission has opened an investigation especially on the € 900 million bridge loan that the Italian government has granted to Alitalia in two tranches to maintain operations, as this has a duration that far exceeds the maximum expected six-month rule for State bailouts and because the fear was that the funds would also be used for something else. On the first point the deadline went much further and the current government extended the deadline to 30 June 2019 or 25 months from its first issue; on the second point, on the other hand, the European Commission made requests for clarification concerning the opening of the new Alitalia lounge at Fiumicino airport and the purchase of new uniforms for flight attendants.

The contacts between Brussels and Rome in recent months have been frequent and have also been used to talk about these issues, also because the Government would like to convert part of the bridge loan into shares to take part in the "new" Alitalia shareholding and asked for an opinion to the European Commission to avoid incurring an infringement procedure. The problem, however, is that there is a risk of a fine of 900 million euros for the State loan granted to Alitalia.

M/A - 1219433

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