Nice work, Silvio

17 Gennaio 2009 Politica nazionale

Chi segue questo blog sa che non è mia abitudine fare copia-incolla di articoli, ma stavolta voglio fare un’eccezione pubblicando quest’articolo del Financial Times sull’Alitalia.

Non ci sono parole: queste cose non dovrebbero mai succedere, e se proprio succedessero qualcuno dovrebbe pagare a carissimo prezzo. Ma in Italia succedono, e nessuno sembra accorgersene

Io avevo scritto fin dall’inizio “Addio, Alitalia“. Adesso posso usare questo breve testo del FT che fa quattro conti sull’enorme prelievo dalle nostre tasche come pietra tombale.

Alitalia/Air France-KLM
Financial Times, 12 January 2009
The inglorious Alitalia imbroglio has finally reached its end. Having teetered on the brink of collapse for the best part of a decade, the Italian carrier re-launches this week. That Air France-KLM has paid some €320m for a 25 per cent stake is a further vote of confidence in its future. That should make its take-off an entirely happy event for all. Sadly, it is not.
To see why, go back to last March, when Air France offered €140m for the airline in a takeover that would also have assumed its €1.2bn of debt. However, Silvio Berlusconi, prime minister, blocked that deal on patriotic grounds. In December, after Alitalia went bust, an Italian consortium paid €427m for the bits of the company that worked, combining them with local carrier, Air One. Now, a month later, its Air France deal values that same company at over €1.2bn.
Nice work: in less than a month, the consortium has tripled the value of its investment. As for Air France, expected synergies from the tie-up are about €280m a year. Its quarter share of those savings, taxed and capitalised, more than cover the acquisition cost of its stake.
Italy, however, comes out only evens. The country gets to keep an “Italian” airline ­ in much the same way that Swiss, owned by Lufthansa, is “Swiss”.
Some international routes out of Italy will be kept that might otherwise have been lost, and perhaps some jobs could be saved as a result. But by combining Air One and Alitalia, the result is a less competitive internal air market ­ and higher air fares. Italy is also left with some €600m of debt, attached to the bad Alitalia, that would not exist if Berlusconi had allowed the Air France deal last year. The price for patriotism is a bill that Italian taxpayers will have to meet.

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