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The endless story of Alitalia airline and years of intrigue could be a good base for a new saga to be developed by J. K. Rowling in the fertile mind of Harry Potter.
The focus episode regarding the sale of the “much-talked airline“ in the “air” since 2016 has not brought positive advertising.
On the contrary, it has stimulated the fantasy of many minor air carriers who, in the search for free advertising, have proposed themselves as buyers of a slice of the, by now, torn-into-pieces Alitalia.
Among the touch-and-go of the larger carriers, only Lufthansa has shown positive feelings, however, for an almost “naked” airline that has been stripped of a good number of staff and washed off of bad debts – an early days act agreed upon by Mr. Berlusconi to favor an old friend at the expense of the Italian taxpayers.
The doll, Alitalia, after many marriages and divorces has yet to find her Prince Charming.
Could the Prince come from the Blu Empire, namely from China?
A partner of the Asian giant would be better than a European one, given that Alitalia needs a strategic shareholder from a country that is not a competitor.
And again, with Chinese on the board, bilateral relations would be strengthened and tourism flows would be fueled by restoring direct lines. Today, most of the passenger traffic from Beijing is diverted to Frankfurt and not to Rome.
This new idea for the flag carrier was proposed by Michele Geraci, newly-elected undersecretary of the Mise and finance professor at three universities in the Shanghai area.
Geraci, 51, originating from Sicily – known as “the Chinese” (nickname) unveiled his idea for the future of Alitalia in an interview with the Agi (press agency).
Suddenly the Alitalia theme returns to the Lufthansa Group’s agenda.
Was it a “Tweety Bird” that whispered to the CEO of the German giant, Carsten Spohr, the news regarding the possible imposed marriage of Alitalia with China?
According to Il Messaggero, (the Roman daily) the CEO of Lufthansa – recently reconfirmed for 5 years in his position – reiterated the strategic interest for Alitalia, especially in this historic moment in which the aviation sector could assist a strong consolidation with numerous acquisitions that will change the panorama of the sector, the European one in the first place.
Or, is Lufthansa stepping fast in securing a partnership with Alitalia in view of a light “nationalization” with the Italian State ready to enter with more than 20% stake in Alitalia’s capital through Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP SpA), an Italian investment bank?
Carsten Spohr, has in fact reiterated his interest in the former Italia state airline company with a letter addressed to the new Italian Minister of Economic Development, Luigi Di Maio, just in the days when the idea of a possible closure of the case becomes more overbearing to return the battered air carrier to the Italians “eager” to absorb other taxes to put Alitalia back on track.
The Italian Chamber gave the final go-ahead to the decree that extends to October 31, 2018 the deadline to complete the sale of Alitalia and to December 5, 2018 for the repayment of the bridge loan of 900 million euros.
The provision received 512 favorable votes (no oppositions, 30 abstainers) but one thing – according to analysts – is certain: in the government agenda of the undersecretary indicated by Matteo Salvini, there will be a lot of China.
The German letter of proposal, therefore, reopens a game that is one of the most important autumn test benches of the new government, M5S-Lega, that is increasingly found at a crossroads: ranks of entrepreneurs (including the state) against the sale to the Germans or to other foreign buyers.
Meanwhile, in the coming days, the future of the extraordinary commissioners Luigi Gubitosi, Enrico Paleari, and Stefano Laghi, will also be decided, which could be replaced by names that are closer to the new executive. It will be very interesting to see what the new set of heroes can do.
The poor sick patient, Alitalia, needs new a diagnosis.
To hide this illness in the eyes of the world, its staff has been dressed up with new liveries exactly as the poet said (Giovanni Pascoli): Oh! Valentino wearing a new dress, like the hawthorn jugs! Only, to the feet tested by the bramble, you carry the skin of your feet.