Italy's PM Wants ITA-Lufthansa Deal To Go Forward

During a press conference at the end of the G20 summit, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni raised questions about the lack of clearance from European authorities for Germany's Lufthansa to invest in ITA Airways, the successor to Alitalia. 


Meloni expressed confusion over the European Commission's sudden decision to block the deal, despite their previous request for a solution to the ITA problem. She also mentioned that the issue had been brought to the attention of Paolo Gentiloni, an Italian who serves as European Economy Commissioner. 


However, the Commission stated that the deal had not yet been lodged with them. They clarified that it is always the responsibility of the companies involved to notify the Commission of any transactions that constitute a concentration and have an EU dimension. Lufthansa had agreed to acquire a 41% stake in ITA at the end of May, and Italy has since been in talks with EU competition authorities to secure informal backing before proceeding with a formal notification of the transaction. 


To expedite negotiations, a Treasury official announced that Rome would request a meeting with Didier Reynders, who is responsible for the competition portfolio, following Margrethe Vestager's announcement that she is officially running for the presidency of the European Investment Bank. As of Sunday, neither company had been reached for comment.

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