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Italy’s Prime Minister Confused by EC’s Inaction on ITA Airways Deal

 |  September 11, 2023

Italy’s Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has expressed her surprise at the European Commission’s lack of response to the deal presented by Germany’s Lufthansa to invest in ITA Airways. At Sunday’s G20 press conference, Meloni expressed her confusion as to why the European Commission had not responded to the ITA solution despite urging Italy to find an answer for years.

“Something curious is going on,” Meloni said. “The same European Commission which asked us for years to find a solution to the ITA problem, then blocks it when we do come up with a solution. So we don’t really understand, and we would like an answer” reported Reuters. 

The Prime Minister had raised the issue with European Economy Commissioner Paolo Gentiloni since the end of May in light of the agreement by Lufthansa to take up a 41% stake in ITA. Yet a Commission spokesperson clarified that the transaction has not been formally notified to the Commission.

Related: Lufthansa Nearing Deal To Buy 40% Of ITA Airways

“If a transaction constitutes a concentration and has an EU dimension, it is always up to the companies to notify it to the Commission,” the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson said that to speed up negotiations, a Treasury official would be seeking a meeting with Didier Reynders, new Commissioner in charge of competition policy after Vestager announces her candidacy for the presidency of the European Investment Bank.

In the meantime, Meloni has called for an answer in the matter to end the confusion and ensure a resolution to the issue. “We hope the European Commission clarifies the situation in the coming days,” she remarked. “We are confident that the Italian government has done its part in proposing a solution that is beneficial to all stakeholders involved, both in Europe and Italy.”

Source: Reuters