Alitalia: European Union, illegal loan of 400 million euros. Giorgetti, we’re right – the economy

Alitalia: European Union, illegal loan of 400 million euros.  Giorgetti, we’re right – the economy

Even the latest bridging loans to the moribund Alitalia were illegal. With a decision “expected” by the government and “widely expected” also in EU buildings, Brussels has ended its investigations into the state aid that Rome provided between 2017 and 2019 to the former national carrier in a last-ditch effort – and then shipwreck – to revive it. Noting that with the final payment of €400m, Italy has closed both eyes to the impossibility of repaying the carrier for the loans, worrying only about keeping them alive artificially. Wrongful behavior, guilty of altering competition in the European market, for which Italy will now have to atone by recovering the full amount of subsidies – 1.3 billion euros – plus interest. In any case, the burden of repayment will not fall on Newco Ita: for Brussels it is not the economic successor to Alitalia. An assessment expressed in 2021 that showed the Minister of Economy, Giancarlo Giorgetti, the rightness of the government’s action, committed to ensuring that the new company is in complete break with the old one and is able to stand on its own two feet.

The result of an investigation that lasted nearly three years, the EU’s antitrust declaration follows a decision already taken in 2021 to bridge temporary loans dating back to 2017, when the government led by Paolo Gentiloni agreed to transfer 900 million euros worth of aid to Alitalia in that time. deemed illegal by Margrethe Vestager Services. It blocks the provision of “incompatibility” with community treaties. The new – and last – 400 million euro loan, dated October 26, 2019 and signed by Conte bis, gave, in Brussels’ assessment, “the former national carrier an unfair economic advantage over its competitors on national, European and international routes”. The Commission, “Italy did not act as a private investor might have done”, which faced waning hopes of a refund, would not have revealed itself at the time by granting more assistance to the carrier. The loan – the last under Alitalia which since 1974 has presented a $10.40 billion bill to the state, which in Assoutenti estimates equates to €519 per household “between bailouts, capital increase and public contributions” – it was not even approved as bailout because, with Brussels still rising, This measure is no longer a one-off after the previous subsidies. All the knots that are now back to sweep: Rome is called upon to recover the entire package of 1.3 billion euros. However, he will not have to demand their return from ETA which, although it was born from his ashes, does not represent a “successor” the economy D” to Alitalia for the European Union. Faced with the bankruptcy of the former national carrier, the method indicated by Brussels is to use, as far as possible, the proceeds from the sale of assets. Any remaining amount will be forfeited. A decision that Giorgetti claimed was “evidence” that Italy was “right” and intended to “continue on this path” for the independence of the new company. But this is only an ephemeral victory for Italian consumers because, in Condacons’ curt comment, “it will not be possible to get a refund and return to community availability.”

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