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What happens in the sale of a stake in Ita Airways to Lufthansa?

What happens in the sale of a stake in Ita Airways to Lufthansa?

On May 25, the Ministry of Economy announced that it had reached an agreement to sell a minority stake in the airline ETA Airways to the German company Lufthansa. The agreement stipulates that Lufthansa will purchase 41% of ETA Airways through a capital increase of 325 million euros, with the option to acquire all remaining shares at a later date.

It was a long-awaited agreement, given that negotiations to sell part or all of the former Alitalia had been going on for several months and involved different business partners. Lufthansa, Germany’s largest airline and among the world’s largest airlines, submitted its interest in January, so the May agreement appears to have marked the conclusion of complex negotiations initiated by the Ministry of Economy (which controls 100 percent). ETA Airlines). In June, the agreement received approval from the Accounting Board, but to be finalized, it must also receive the positive opinion of the Accounting Board.European Competition Commissioner.

But after nearly four months, the European Commission’s opinion has not yet arrived, and the Italian government is complaining about it. Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni also spoke about this on the sidelines of the G20 summit in New Delhi, India, where she said in this regard in response to a journalist’s question at a press conference:

“Something that is objectively curious is happening, which is that the same European Commission that has been asking us for years to find a solution to the problem, when we find a solution to the problem, obstructs it, and therefore we no longer understand it. And we want the answer. Commissioner Gentiloni was also interested in this matter.”

This is not the first time in recent days that Meloni has pointed out the role that former Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni, the European Commissioner for Economic Affairs, should play, according to her, to better protect Italian interests in Europe. As he said it on Thursday evening when presenting a decree law to combat juvenile crimes: “The European Commissioners, who represent the countries, when carrying out their duties, represent the European Union. Obviously, since each state has its own commissioner, it is natural that the commissioners also monitor the state they represent.”

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Gentiloni, in turn, was in New Delhi representing the European Union, according to what journalist Monica Guerzoni wrote in the Sunday edition of Corriere della Sera, He was to discuss the Air Italy-Lufthansa issue with Economy Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti, also present at the G20.

What worries Giorgetti above all is the fact that a few days ago Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager decided to temporarily retire from her position, after the Danish government proposed a candidate for the presidency of the European Investment Bank, Guerzoni writes, citing background information that should be taken with extreme caution. According to Guerzoni’s article, Giorgetti fears that Vestager’s decision will slow down the European Commission’s work on pressing issues, such as negotiations between ETA and Lufthansa.