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I am publishing the first part of Marco Travaglio’s presentation.

”Good day to you all,
I’m just getting this sheet that I am printing out as I need it for this presentation. It has been another great week. To read the newspapers and listen to the TV News you’d think Alitalia is safe! In reality Alitalia no longer exists. It is a company that is being liquidated and, as I hope can now be understood after the Annozero programme, it has been gifted at our expense, to a consortium of strange gentlemen who have no competence, no interest in air flight, but who have a great deal of competence in political relationships and political favours. Active and passive favours. And there’s a massive need for favours for our political class in relation to that flight as you have seen, Rome-Scajola-Rome, that Alitalia guarantees while Scajola is a Minister, and thus even now. Everyone is wrapped up in saving Alitalia that is not saved because it no longer exists and that will probably cost us more than three billion euro, which equals the cuts in spending on schools for the next few years. We are cutting three billion for schools and losing thousands and thousands of elementary teachers and employees to go and pay the debts of a public company that is gifted to sixteen flag-waving brothers.
Everyone is so tied up with joyous celebrations that instead should be funereal and it was not at all inevitable if the healthy part of Alitalia had been placed on the international market, the part that has been gifted to the 16 crafty ones. Probably the foreign carriers like Air France, Lufthansa, or BA, would have liked to buy the whole lot.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:08 PM in | Comments (2) | Comments in Italian (translated) Post a comment | Sign up | Send to a friend | | GrilloNews | listen_it_it.gifListen |
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Hi all,

I think that the fundamental question is: how can EU bear Mr Berlusconi's affairs on Alitalia and the way his government held the issue? If it is out of european law, I hope EU will pronounce itself. Otherwise, if it will be held with political "gloves", I think Mr Berlusconi will win it again!

Posted by: Manuel S | September 30, 2008 03:27 PM

The remainder of Marco's comments - in the Italian version - are much more important. The threat that the way in which the justice system will be reformed will depend on whether the Alfano law is judged unconstitutional is deeply sinister.

Everywhere and always, independence of judiciary and executive are the first line of defence of civil liberties - this independence is now under serious threat.

As for the Alitalia affair,the current decision by the consortium to have a bidding war between Lufthansa and Air France suggests that they themselves will pocket much of the difference between the price that these companies would have been ready to pay, and the ridiculously low price at which Alitalia's good bits were offered to them. Mr Berlusconi's view that the airline will remain out of foreign hands after the five years are up is of course absurd. Real control will be assumed almost immediately by whichever company wins the bidding war - the higher the price they pay, the more control they will insist on.

Posted by: Charles Young | September 30, 2008 01:41 PM

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