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Parliamentary questions
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11 January 2019
Answer given by Ms Vestager on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: P-005965/2018

As the Commission indicated in its replies to written questions E-004328/2018 and E-002971/2018, the Commission indeed asked the Italian authorities to provide clarifications about the new uniforms and the new lounge at Fiumicino. It also sought clarification from the Italian authorities concerning Alitalia’s new routes and the interest payments on the EUR 900 million loan. The Commission can confirm that the Italian authorities replied to those questions but cannot, at this stage, disclose the content of those replies, as the investigation into possible state aid to Alitalia is ongoing.

Given that the Commission has not decided yet whether the EUR 900 million loan constitutes incompatible state aid, it cannot speculate at this moment about the effectiveness of a potential recovery order.

As regards ‘economic discontinuity’, and in line with the reply to Written Question E-002337/2018, the Commission analyses the existence of economic (dis)continuity using a set of indicia including the scope of the assets transferred, the transfer price, the identity of the buyer, the timing of the transfer and the economic logic of the transaction. The Commission applied these indicia in its 2008 decision(1) establishing the absence of the economic continuity between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ Alitalia, a decision upheld subsequently by the Union Courts(2).

(1)Decision C(2008) 6745 final, of 12 November 2008, concerning state aid N 510/2008 — Italy — Sale of assets of the airline Alitalia.
(2)Judgment of 28 March 2012, Ryanair v Commission, T-123/09, EU:T:2012:164, upheld on appeal by judgment of 13 June 2013, Ryanair v Commission, C-287/12 P, EU:C:2013:395.

Last updated: 11 January 2019Legal notice