The letter poses questions that already contain the answer. A letter that can postpone the start of the new company, scheduled for April. Much depends on Conte’s government and the Alitalia commissioner, Alessandro Leogrande, who must make up for lost time, immediately put the old company on the market, in pieces, and allow Ita of the managing director Fabio Lazzerini to take what is needed in a way that there is no direct passage as Brussels fears.
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The European Commission’s letter, however, begins with a broad preamble: «The Commission must establish whether the NewCo is in economic discontinuity with Alitalia. This test is based on the criteria identified in the relevant Court of Justice precedents. These criteria consist of the market price, the identity of the shareholder or shareholders of the NewCo, the object of the sale (including the assets, personnel and contracts held by the NewCo), the economic logic of the transaction and the moment in which it takes place. the transfer… Secondly, the planned investment in the NewCo must be market compliant. In other words, a private investor operating under normal market economy conditions should and could have made the investment in question. ‘
After the preamble is there‘list consisting of 62 requests for clarification. We mention the main ones. For example on the “economic discontinuity»:« As discussed on several occasions in the past, the case team believes that the following would help to ensure discontinuity in this case: the assets should in principle be sold through an open, transparent, non-discriminatory and unconditional offer; the NewCo is not expected to maintain combined aviation, ground handling and maintenance operations. It should focus on the aviation business. Ground handling and maintenance activities should be sold separately to third parties; a number of slots should be abandoned at congested airports; the Alitalia brand must not be maintained by NewCo, as it is an emblematic indicator of continuity. Alitalia’s loyalty program should not simply be transferred to the NewCo. Also in this case a tender is preferable to guarantee discontinuity ».
With three billion euros of public money, the state is trying to save the national airline. Meanwhile, it has not yet been possible to find a location for the new company. Fiumicino will be an intercontinental hub, Malpensa cut off.
The Civitavecchia prosecutor has closed the investigation into the management of the company during the years of the agreement with the Arab Emirates. An expert report puts on paper inopportune disbursements of millions of euros. In three years the losses will exceed one billion euros
The first official communications on the industrial level reached the workers’ representatives: 52 planes in service and stops on many international flights. Numbers that confirm the anticipations of the Espresso
Doubts of Brussels also on the vehicle maintenance and the industrial plan presented by Ita: «As regards maintenance, it is clear from the draft of the industrial plan that Ita plans to entrust maintenance to a company created ad hoc and 100% controlled by Ita. This company will provide maintenance services at market prices. Please indicate the economic and strategic reasons for not acquiring maintenance services on the market from third party suppliers ».
Finally, on the Alitalia brand, the EU Commission asks the government to “provide an estimate of the value of the Alitalia brand and also explain whether Ita intends to acquire the brand at market price and if this market price would result from an offer”.
Margrethe Vestager, Commissioner for Competition, answered a question from a Romanian parliamentarian. And he promises that Brussels will monitor Lazzarini’s transition to “Ita”. The EU awaits the industrial plan and, in the case of state aid, is ready to punish Rome. “A favor to the French and the Germans”, denounce the Italian trade unions
Source: Rss l'Espresso by espresso.repubblica.it.
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