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Prodi loses key advisor in Telecoms row

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Prodi loses key advisor in Telecoms row


A crisis hitting Telecom Italia is having political repercussions for the Italian prime minister. An advisor to Romano Prodi, Angelo Rovati, has resigned over a row about a strategy shift at the telecoms giant. He made the announcement while on a visit to China with Prodi. Rovati said advice he had given about future strategy had been ‘‘deliberately misinterpreted’ and that he was standing down to avoid damaging the government. Speaking after the resignation Prodi said the affair would be discussed in parliament after his return to Italy.

Telecom Italia’s controlling shareholder, Marco Tronchetti Provera, quit as chairman on Friday, after clashing with Prodi. The premier had questioned Telecom Italia’s decision to split off its mobile unit, a move that raised fears it could fall under foreign control.

It was later revealed that Rovati had sent a report to Tronchetti recommending the state buy the group’s network. Prodi’s opponents say this shows the prime minister must have known about Telecom’s plans

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