Debt-riddled Telecom Italia, Europe’s fifth-largest telecoms provider, is to slash 4,000 jobs on top of the 5,000 already in the pipeline in a bid to reduce debt and cut costs. In addition, four billion euros of assets will be sold off. Telecom Italia chief Franco Bernabe said the changes will be managed in consultation with the unions: “Of course we won’t be doing all this alone. We’ll talk to the unions, and enter into new negotiations with them. We will work in a prudent manner and be sensitive to people’s needs. We have always worked this way.”
The company is looking to ease its 37 billion euro debt by expanding operations in Brazil and Argentina, which are seen as growth areas. Shares have picked up some 13 percent over the past few months as investors see the company’s attempt to cut debt and costs as wise management in a weak economy.