Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni calls on Europe on the ITA-Lufthansa agreement: “We are waiting for an answer”

The President of the Council, Giorgia Meloni, turned the spotlight back on the Ita-Lufthansa dossier and did so during the press conference at the end of the G20 summit, speaking about the lack of a green light from the European competition, a necessary act to implement the agreement already signed a few months ago . “Something strange is happening,” he said European Commission who has been asking us for years to find a solution and when we find it, he blocks it. We would like an answer to this and the question was put to Commissioner Gentiloni by Minister Giorgetti.”

Immediate response from Brussels: “We have not yet received notification of the agreement between ITA and Lufthansa and otherwise there is not much to say,” said a European Commission spokesman.

They discussed the operation during G20 also the Minister of Economic Affairs Giancarlo Giorgetti and the German Minister of Finance Christian Lindner. MEF sources have made it clear that “the notification of the agreement” to the European Competition Commission “will in practice only be accepted at the end of an investigation that the Commission itself is carrying out very carefully as part of a preliminary examination.” -Notification phase already started”. And they specified that “the reaction of the municipal leadership entrusted to a spokesperson is positive, since it represents the prerequisite for a very rapid process”, and stressed that the MEF has taken steps to achieve a meeting “in a short time” with the Commissioner Didier Reynderswho has interim responsibility for the competition portfolio and replaces Margrethe Vestager, candidate for President of the EIB.

Subsequently, Brussels announced that the Commission “remains in close contact with the parties to discuss the transaction before its official notification” and that “these preliminary contacts take place on an ongoing basis and are part of the standard process for the assessment of a complex operation.” .

The main points of the agreement

Based on the agreement reached at the end of May, which also received the green light Court of AuditorsLufthansa acquires a 41% stake in the share capital of Ita Airways against an investment of 325 million euros, with the option to buy the remaining shares at a later date. The agreement thus initiates the privatization process of the Italian airline, which emerged from the remains of Alitalia at the end of 2021, after four months of exclusive negotiations between the Mef and the largest European airline. The industrial plan The 2023-2027 period shared between the Italian government and Lufthansa foresees revenue growth from an expected 2.5 billion euros this year to an expected 4.1 billion euros in 2027. The agreement aims at the growth and renewal of the Ita fleet, to be completed at the end of 2027. It will have 94 aircraft compared to the current 71, with an average age of five years, and will ensure the optimization of consumption and environmental impact. The workforce is expected to grow from 1,200 employees to 4,300 this year setI am currently in finalization and will increase to over 5,500 units by the end of the plan.

After 2025, when the company is expected to be profitable, an investment in the region of 450 million euros is expected for the control of Ita by the Germans, while the Mef could retain 10% or a representative on the board. As part of the agreement is the Mef has committed to a capital increase of 250 million euros and has jointly agreed to it Lufthansa, Options for a possible takeover of the remaining shares by the German airline at a later date. To ensure the sustainable growth of Ita, Lufthansa also intends to expand intermodal transport for feeder traffic within Italy. In addition, the German group co-signed a memorandum of understanding last February state railways. At the beginning of August, the German company said that the takeover was subject to the approval of the relevant authorities, which was expected by the end of the year.

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