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Last call for Alitalia as government launches another rescue

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Last call for Alitalia as government launches another rescue
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The Italian government is again scrambling to save Alitalia from ruin, by finding a short-term financing solution to keep one of the company’s major creditors sweet.

The airline needs 500 million euros of funding by Saturday to pay, among other things fuel bills to ENI, which has threatened to cut supplies.

“We are very satisfied for the work done in these weeks. Not only we have saved a strategic asset for the country, our national airline, but we have worked in order to be able to look at the future: with a new strong participation of privates, and with the choice of a fundamental strategic partner as Poste Italiane,” said Italy’s Minister of Transport Maurizo Lupi.

The government and Post office are chipping in 75 million each, with
existing shareholders being asked to find 150 million, while Italian banks are being asked to provide new loans of 200 million.

Analysts say the scheme is less of a bid to return Alitalia to profitability, and more about strengthening the books before an expected takeover by Air FranceKLM, who have refused to commit to the plan.