Statement by Michele Cercone, spokesperson of Jacques Barrot, on Alitalia
Type: Summary of press conference
End production: 24/04/2008 First transmission: 24/04/2008
At the 24 April 2008 EC press briefing, Michele Cercone, spokesperson of Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Transport, confirmed that the European Commission was examining Alitalia's rescue plan.
The Commission's services received presentation from the Italian government of its plans for further aid to State-owned carrier Alitalia SpA, Michele Cercone told journalists.
There was a meeting between the Italian authorities and the Commission, and they gave us a letter explaining their plan, he said. We are now going to examine it and we will inform them of any steps to be taken, he added.
According to the EC spokesperson, it is already clear that the Commission's services will send a letter to the Italian authorities informing them of a number of doubts Brussels has about these measures and requiring more clarifications. Rome insists that its scheme is not State aid.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior view of the European Commission building
||General view of the press briefing
||Soundbite by Michele Cercone, spokesperson of Jacques Barrot, Vice-President of the EC in charge of Transport, (in ENGLISH): we had a meeting with the Italian authorities; they presented us the measures taken in favour of Alitalia; they gave us a letter and some documents illustrating these measures; they maintained that the measures are not State aid because the loan is being made available on commercial terms; we are currently analysing the documents in detail but it is already clear that our services will send a letter to the Italian authorities informing them of a number of doubts we have about these measures and requiring more clarifications.
||Cutaway of press
||Soundbite by Michele Cercone (in ENGLISH): we have doubts on the nature of the measures and we want to have a better understanding of its details; in more concrete terms, we want to understand if this is a commercial operation, as the Italian authorities claim, or if there are State aid elements involved.
||Soundbite by Michele Cercone (in ENGLISH): as I already said, it is up to the Italian authorities to clearly define the nature of the measures; they explained they do not consider this to be State aid but a commercial operation, so they did not notify it under the State aid terms, they presented us the measures.
||Soundbite by Michele Cercone (in ENGLISH): I think that the elements we have at the moment and details that we have been explained will leave room for our services to ask for more details and more precise information that the Italian authorities will have to provide; we will continue our analysis and assessment; as I said, we clearly want to understand whether this is, as the Italian authorities say, a measure made available on commercial terms, or if there is any State aid element involved.
||Soundbite by Michele Cercone (in ENGLISH) on the time scale for a Commission's assessment: our services will write to the Italian authorities in the next couple of days; then the time scale will depend on a number of different events that I cannot at the moment clearly foresee.