ALITALIA STAFFERS MOUNT PROTEST VS LAYOFFS IN ROME
Alitalia employees and union representatives held a protest on Wednesday against layoffs and plans that could see the airline's fleet reduced by half, Deutsche Presse-Agentur (dpa) reported.
Ailing Alitalia is under state management after repeatedly facing cash shortfalls amid the crisis unleashed by the pandemic. The company, which employs more than 10,000 people, has struggled to pay salaries, according to union sources.
Protesters gathered in front of the Industry Ministry in Rome, and representatives spoke with Economic Development Minister Giancarlo Giorgetti.
Italy's government presented plans to restructure Alitalia, which has been insolvent for some time, in autumn 2020.
The scaled-back operations are to be shifted into a new company, called Italia Trasporto Aereo (ITA). Rome is negotiating the plan with the European Commission, alongside further state aid.
During a question and answer session in the Chamber of Deputies on Wednesday, Giorgetti admitted there was a "serious problem with liquidity." He called on Brussels for understanding and flexibility in applying the regulations, according to Ansa news agency.
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