Italy

Italy has been asked to provide more than 7 billion euros ($8 billion) in capital to UniCredit to strike a deal over Monte dei Paschi and offload as much as possible of the state-owned bank to the stronger rival, Reuters reported. UniCredit, Italy's No. 2 lender, agreed on July 29 to discuss buying selected parts of Monte dei Paschi (MPS) from Italy's Treasury, which rescued the Tuscan bank in 2017, spending 5.4 billion euros. Under the terms of the bailout, Italy must cut its 64% stake in MPS by mid-2022 at the latest.
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Italy’s president on Monday strongly criticized the violence that has erupted amid protests over the country’s new coronavirus workplace health pass requirement, saying it appeared aimed at jeopardizing Italy’s economic recovery, the Associated Press reported. President Sergio Mattarella spoke out as riot police again clashed with protesters at the port in the northern city of Trieste, at times using water canons to push them back. The protesters, who have included right-wing agitators in previous episodes, oppose Italy’s Green Pass requirement.
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A prolonged increase in energy prices could have a negative impact on Italy’s local administrations forcing the government to step in to help keep offices, hospitals and schools functioning properly, Finance Ministry Undersecretary Maria Cecilia Guerra said, Bloomberg News reported. “I think it would be useful to look at the impact on local administrations because the increase in energy costs could be hard on them,” Guerra said in an interview in Rome.
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Alitalia, a one-time symbol of Italian style and glamour brought low by economic mismanagement, will operate its last flight on Thursday after 75 years, before handing over to its downsized successor Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA), Reuters reported. The traditional choice of popes, prima donnas and Italy's political elite, Alitalia has been run by state-appointed administrators since 2017 to avoid being liquidated.
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Beleaguered Italian ferry operator Moby SpA dropped its request for an order blocking Morgan Stanley from trading in the company’s debt or interfering in its restructuring, Bloomberg News reported. Moby told a federal court in New York late Sunday that it was withdrawing its application for a temporary restraining order against the bank, which it accused in a Sept. 27 lawsuit of participating in a secret plan to foil its restructuring in Italy and seize control from other creditors.
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Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi is following through on his view that the European Union’s fiscal rules are “obsolete” with a budget that projects deficits well above the bloc’s suspended ceiling for the foreseeable future, Bloomberg News reported. The first annual fiscal plan of his technocratic government unveiled on Wednesday shows that even though officials reckon the shortfall could drop to 2.1% by 2024, they plan to keep exceeding the 3% level that used to trigger EU admonishments before the crisis. “Our budget is fundamentally expansive,” the prime minister told reporters in Rome.
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ITA Prepares to Bid for Alitalia’s Brand

The change of the guard between the historic Alitalia and the newly created ITA as Italian flag carrier is less than a month away, but the situation is far from defined, airlinegeeks.com reported. Alitalia is going through its bankruptcy procedure and will stop flying on Oct. 15; on the same date, new state-owned carrier Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA) will take over some of its routes and will begin its adventure with 52 aircraft and 2,800 employees, putting it at roughly half the size of its predecessor.

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Italy is making Covid-19 health passes mandatory for all workers in the private and public sectors, in one of the toughest vaccine-promoting measures adopted by any major Western country, the Wall Street Journal reported. Prime Minister Mario Draghi’s government passed a decree Thursday requiring workers, including those who are self-employed, to have a digital certificate known as a green pass. This shows a person has been fully vaccinated, has recently recovered from Covid-19 or has freshly tested negative for the virus.
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The European Union’s competition watchdog on Friday cleared an injection of Italian government funds into new national flag carrier ITA, and said the company would not be held accountable for illegal state aid given to its predecessor Alitalia, the Associated Press reported. Just a month before ITA takes to the skies, the European Commission — which polices anti-trust and competition issues in the 27-nation EU — said capital totaling 1.35 billion euros ($1.6 billion) that Italy intends to grant the new venture is in line with market conditions and cannot be considered as illegal state aid.
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UniCredit and Italy’s Treasury are set to extend discussions over the sale of state-owned bank Monte dei Paschi di Siena beyond an exclusivity deadline on Wednesday, Reuters reported. Italy’s second-largest bank agreed at the end of July to start exclusive talks to evaluate buying “selected parts” of Monte dei Paschi (MPS), which is 64% owned by the Treasury following a 2017 bailout. The two parties agreed to guidelines for an accord at the time stating a deal must leave UniCredit’s capital reserves unaffected and boost its earnings per share by at least 10%.
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