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Parliamentary questions
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17 December 2018
E-006314-18
Question for written answer E-006314-18
to the Commission
Rule 130
Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE)

 Subject:  Follow up to Written Question E-004684-18 on Alitalia state aid — criteria for real ‘economic discontinuity’ and observing the ‘one time, last time’ principle

The Wall Street Journal has stated: the ‘Italian Government would likely end up with a direct Alitalia stake of about 15% and would control the airline through that holding together with Ferrovie’s share’(1).

It continues to state: ‘Alitalia has had a troubled past decade under various private owners, costing Italian taxpayers about EUR 10 billion in that period. Last year, the bankrupt company faced liquidation until Italy’s previous centre-left government extended a EUR 900 million bridge loan meant to tie the airline over until administrators could find a buyer. The new, populist government has decided the buyer should be the Italian state itself’(2).

Italy has stepped in many times to prop up Alitalia. The national post service, Poste Italiane SpA, was briefly a shareholder earlier this decade, while the Government has also given financial inducements to private investors. Such stopgap measures were, however, meant to pave the way to Alitalia’s being a viable private-sector company. This has not happened. Now, the government is again eyeing a future under de facto state control(3).

1. Following my Written Question E-004684-18(4), how will the Commission ensure real economic discontinuity between the old Alitalia and the new one?

2. Does it see any risks of a precedent being set for other companies experiencing difficulty by using ‘rescue aid’ in such a way, or has the ‘one time, last time’(5) principle been observed?

3. Will it ensure full transparency with regard to decisions on this case?

(1)https://www.wsj.com/articles/europes-populist-left-and-right-share-a-common-call-state-intervention-11544788800?redirect=amp#click=https://t.co/cy4qLgv2YU
(2)https://www.wsj.com/articles/europes-populist-left-and-right-share-a-common-call-state-intervention-11544788800?redirect=amp#click=https://t.co/cy4qLgv2YU
(3)https://www.wsj.com/articles/europes-populist-left-and-right-share-a-common-call-state-intervention-11544788800?redirect=amp#click=https://t.co/cy4qLgv2YU
(4)http://www.europarl.europa.eu/doceo/document/E-8-2018-004684_EN.html
(5)http://ec.europa.eu/competition/state_aid/legislation/rescue_resctructuring_communication_en.pdf

Last updated: 17 January 2019Legal notice