ROME (Reuters) – The Italian government has postponed a deadline for making a decision on whether to withdraw Atlantia. ATL.MI highway unit concessions, two government sources said on Wednesday, as a dispute between the infrastructure group and the city of Rome.
The source said the government would meet in the next 10 days to remove Autostrade per l’Italia from a lucrative toll road concession if Atlantia did not submit a new proposal.
Rome initially set Wednesday as a deadline and the Cabinet met earlier to discuss developments in the long-running road dispute sparked by the collapse of a bridge in Genoa more than two years ago that claimed 43 lives.
Company sources said earlier on Wednesday that Atlantia was relying on mediation by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte to avoid lifting its concessions.
Such a move would trigger a default on a European scale, with 7,000 jobs and about 16.5 billion euros ($ 19.3 billion) in risky debt, the sources said.
Roma said it was ready to revoke Autostrade’s concessions if the Benetton-backed infrastructure group failed to agree a deal to sell the unit to state lender CDP.
Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte and Stefano Bernabei; Written by Giulio Piovaccari; Edited by Gavin Jones and Peter Cooney
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