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Lufthansa considers Alitalia stake, sources say

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Lufthansa considers Alitalia stake, sources say

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German airline Lufthansa is considering a stake in Alitalia, as talks continue over a renewed bailout plan for the failing company.

Unions representing pilots and flight assistants are considering a relaunched bid by an Italian consortium of investors.

The original deal collapsed last week but was resurrected after Italy’s four major unions ultimately threw their support behind it. One flight staff collective has now also agreed to come on board.

Lufthansa’s Chief Executive has met with the major unions in Rome.

Sources say the German carrier is considering a 20 percent stake in Alitalia.

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has said he would favour a tie-up with Lufthansa, though he insists any foreign partner would only be allowed a minority interest.

Alitalia risked having its flights grounded next week if it had not come up with a plan.

Its collapse would be a major blow for Berlusconi, who made an election vow to save it and keep it Italian.