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  • Alitalia, Giorgetti: "With the EU close confrontation, we want a competitive company"


16 April 2021 Comparing Alitalia to Air France, which was able to be recapitalized by the state unlike the Italian company, does not make much sense, because the former has been generating losses for years, while the latter was healthy before the Covid-19 pandemic fell on the air transport industry. This was remembered by the spokeswoman for the Competition of the European Commission Arianna Podestà, in Brussels during the briefing with the press.       

"We are in contact with the Italian authorities on the Alitalia issue - says Podestà, answering a question - in general, compared to the comparison between Alitalia and Air France, the main purpose of the temporary aid framework is to provide support to companies that would be sustainable" if there was no pandemic, that is, companies that have "entered into crisis due to the Covid-19 pandemic". Therefore, he continues, "companies that were already in difficulty on 31 December 2019 are not eligible for aid under the temporary framework, including the recapitalization measures". 

"Alitalia - continues the spokesperson - has produced persistent losses and was a company in difficulty already at the end of 2019, therefore before the Covid-19 pandemic. It is therefore excluded from the possibility of receiving aid under the temporary framework".       

"At the same time - he recalls - the Commission approved measures to compensate Alitalia for a total of € 297.15 million, on the basis of Article 107 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, which makes it possible to compensate for damages directly linked to the pandemic. ". The Commission "applied the same assessment to other companies such as the French Corsair and the Portuguese



Over 3000 billion state aid approved by the EU, Italy second

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the EU Commission has approved state aid requested by member countries amounting to 3,030 billion euros.

52.5% of the approved aid was notified by Germany, 15.3% by Italy, and 14.4% by France. Then followed by Spain, with 5.6% of the entire amount of aid approved by the EU, Poland (2.1%) and Belgium (1.9%).

The aid notified by the other Member States is between 0.01% and 1.5% of the estimated 3,030 billion. These are the latest figures from the Directorate-General for Competition, updated as of April 6.

EU sources: Alitalia has already received rescue aid

The Portuguese company Tap has been approved by the EU for 1.2 billion euros of public aid in the form of rescue and restructuring subsidies. This is a type of aid that is possible only once in 10 years and that Alitalia has already received in 2017 with the 900 million bridging loan, not yet approved by the EU. The news was released in Brussels, by sources close to the dossier, following the statements of the Alitalia DG, Giancarlo Zeni, on the Portuguese carrier in crisis before Covid which received the EU ok. Like Alitalia, Tap was unable to receive support under the temporary EU framework for state aid, the sources explain.