European Commission launches investigation into EUR400 million Italian government Alitalia loan

    European Commission opened (28-Feb-2020) an investigation to assess whether the Italian government’s EUR400 million loan granted to Alitalia constitutes state aid and whether it complies with the rules on state aid to companies in difficulty. Italian authorities announced plans to grant a new loan of EUR400 million to Alitalia in late 2019 to facilitate the streamlining of the company in order to attempt to sell its assets. The Italian decree-law authorising the loan was approved by the Italian government in Dec-2019. In Jan-2020, the decree-law was converted into law by the Italian parliament. The decree also provides that the procedure enabling the disposal of Alitalia‘s assets must be carried out by 31-May-2020. A new sales process, carried out by the extraordinary commissioner, is expected to be launched shortly. The Commission stated its review will aim to “provide clarity” to Italy and the company as well as interested buyers if the EUR400 million loan constitutes state aid and if it complies with EU State aid rules. [more – original PR]