Dispatch from Rome: April 2024

The Haizum Italian Insider Report is a monthly news service that monitors the most relevant issues in Italy. This document focuses on political, Economic, and Strategic matters, considering the role of Italy within the European Union, the MENA region, and Transatlantic Relations. The report will deliver clever insights by leveraging Haizum’s deep connections in the national institutional ecosystem.

Reading Time: 20 Minutes


Italy’s political arena is witnessing a transformative wave as new leadership takes the helm. Gabriele Fava‘s ascent to the presidency of INPS signifies a fresh approach to social security, underlining the Government’s commitment to bolstering welfare systems. Meanwhile, the establishment of a diverse steering committee for European funds reflects a concerted effort to streamline resource allocation and drive economic recovery. Federico Silvio Toniato‘s role as Secretary General of the Senate promises to uphold efficiency and bipartisanship in legislative affairs.

Within the realm of defense, Italy’s proactive stance is palpable. The surge in arms exports underscores the nation’s robust defense industry and its pivotal role within European and NATO frameworks. Consideration of participation in the Franco-German tank program underscores Italy’s commitment to collaborative defense initiatives.

Diplomatically, Italy is fostering strategic alliances with precision. President Mattarella‘s visit to Bulgaria underscores the nation’s support for regional integration efforts and underscores the importance of energy cooperation in bolstering Eurozone stability. Prime Minister Meloni‘s diplomatic foray into Tunisia underscores Italy’s proactive stance in nurturing cooperative partnerships aimed at mutual prosperity and regional stability. 

In the economic realm, Italy grapples with a nuanced landscape. The elevation of new leadership within Confindustria signals a potential strategic pivot. Yet, the tepid GDP growth and escalating energy costs pose challenges to sustained economic growth, necessitating agile policy responses and innovative solutions. On the energy front, Italy’s proactive leadership in the G7 Energy Summit underscores its commitment to sustainable energy transitions, positioning itself as a trailblazer in global climate action efforts. 

Amidst these dynamics, Italy’s strategic companies navigate a landscape of renewal and recalibration. The Ministry of Economy and Finance‘s overhaul of leadership in state-owned enterprises signals a commitment to strategic vision. Changes within companies like CDP, Leonardo, and TIM reflect broader shifts in strategic direction and regulatory scrutiny, underscoring the dynamic interplay between state intervention and market forces in shaping Italy’s economic trajectory.

Who is Gabriele Fava, the new president of INPS 

After 309 days of extraordinary administration, the new board of directors of INPS has been appointed. The new term begins with Gabriele Fava as president. A former commissioner of Alitalia (appointed in 2021 by then-Minister Giorgetti), Fava is supported by the Lega party, He succeeds Micaela Gelera, the first woman to lead the pension institute and who has now been appointed to the board under Fratelli d’Italia. Born in Milan in 1963, Fava is an expert in Italian labor law. He has held positions such as commissioner for the extraordinary administration of Alitalia, member of the Pedemontana Lombarda Spa evaluation commission and of the CNEL. 

The board also includes: Micaela Gelera (Fratelli d’Italia), the outgoing extraordinary commissioner of INPS; Marialuisa Gnecchi (Democratic Party-opposition), a former deputy and former INPS vice-president from December 2019 to June 2023; Antonio Di Matteo (Forza Italia), former president of the Christian Workers’ Movement, multiple times municipal councilor, member of CNEL, and member of the Enpals board; Fabio Vitale (Fratelli d’Italia), regional director and central director at INPS, later director at the Ministry of Economic Development, and currently leading Agea.

New Steering Committee for European Funds

A new steering committee has been established to speed up the spending of European funds. This reform, proposed by Minister Raffaele Fitto as part of the cohesion policy, is essential to unlock the next installment of funds as it is a “milestone” in the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (NRRP). However, the reform must still be approved by the European Commission. The goal is to coordinate and synchronize investments from Ministries and regions funded by various European resources, structural funds, the NRRP, and the national Cohesion Fund (Fsc). 

Ministers from strategic sectors such as water resources, infrastructure for hydrogeological risk and environmental protection, waste management, transport and sustainable mobility, energy, and support for business development (including digital and green transitions) will be involved in this new body. They aim to centralize the coordination of investments and resources. The steering committee will also be responsible for monitoring the results, which is currently done by the Department for Cohesion Policies (Dpcoe), and for setting priorities on the Step platform for the competitiveness of strategic industrial sectors at the EU level.

Federico Silvio Toniato Takes Charge of the Senate Administration

After 13 years, Elisabetta Serafin is ending her long tenure as Secretary General of Palazzo Madama to become president of Saipem. This role is highly coveted and strategic, with significant administrative, legislative, and political responsibilities. Federico Silvio Toniato is the frontrunner to succeed Serafin. He has been Serafin’s deputy since 2014 when, at 39, he became the youngest deputy secretary in history. Toniato has had a twenty-year career at Palazzo Madama, starting in 2000.

Born in Padua in 1975, Toniato is considered a prodigy. His age could make him the youngest person ever appointed to this position, a title he first earned in 2014 as deputy secretary at 39. He began his career in 2000 as a parliamentary advisor and has been known for his moderate stance and cross-party sympathies. He has always been close to the Community of Sant’Egidio.

In November 2011, Schifani assigned him to work with the newly appointed life senator Mario Monti, who was forming a Government after Berlusconi. This role earned Toniato the position of Secretary General at Palazzo Chigi. He returned to Palazzo Madama ten years ago. The new General Secretariat team of the Senate is expected to include Alessandro Goracci and Edoardo Sassoli.

Annual Government Report to Parliament on Arms Control Operations

The annual Government report to Parliament on operations authorized and carried out for the control of the export, import, and transit of armament materials has been released. This document is required by Law No. 185 of July 9, 1990, which regulates the export of armaments by the national defense industry. Currently, the Chamber of Deputies is reviewing a Government-initiated bill that sets new rules for export control, which has already been approved by the Senate.

In 2023, the total value of authorizations for the movement of armament materials was 7.5 bln euros, with 6.3 bln in exports from Italy and 1.2 bln in imports. Global licenses, which simplify the authorization process, also continued to grow. Overall, the value of export authorizations increased from 5.2 bln euros in the previous year to 6.3 bln euros. The number of countries receiving export authorizations was 83, with 2.101 authorizations issued, consistent with the past three years. Specifically, 55.96% of the total value (1516 authorizations) was for intra-EU and NATO exports, while the remaining 44.04% (585 authorizations) was for non-EU/NATO countries.

Will Italy Join the Franco-German Future Tank Program?

On April 26, French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu and his German counterpart Boris Pistorius signed an b in Paris for the development of the MGCS (Main Ground Combat System) program. This marks the start of the initial development phase of the MGCS, a program launched by France and Germany in 2017. The two countries have unlocked the project by agreeing on the distribution of industrial tasks. The signed protocol ensures an equal division of responsibilities among the companies involved: KNDS (a group composed of the French company Nexter and the German company KMW) and Rheinmetall, based in Düsseldorf. Meanwhile, on April 29, Italian Defense Minister Guido Crosetto and his French counterpart signed a letter of intent to create a European industrial defense hub for land systems. 

According to the French subsidiary of KNDS, the corporate project involving defense companies KNDS, Rheinmetall, and Thales for the development of a future battle tank for Germany and France will remain closed to other shareholders for now.

President Mattarella's Visit in Bulgaria

Italy hopes for the rapid creation of conditions for Bulgaria’s entry into the Eurozone. This was a key message during the visit of Italian President Sergio Mattarella to Bulgaria. The visit aimed to strengthen Italo-Balkan relations and address strategic topics like energy and European integration, highlighting Sofia’s active role in the region. Additionally, President Mattarella visited the Italian contingent at the NATO base in Novo Selo, Bulgaria. Mattarella emphasized that Bulgaria’s adoption of the euro would facilitate greater cooperation, underlining that Bulgaria is “an indispensable partner for Italy, both bilaterally and as a member of the European Union.” He also highlighted Bulgaria’s importance as a NATO member, sharing a commitment to security and peace.

The visit concluded at the Novo Selo military base, where Mattarella met the Italian contingent of the Multinational Battlegroup Bulgaria. Italy has been leading the Battlegroup in Bulgaria as part of NATO’s enhanced vigilance activities since October 2022. On the energy front, significant progress was noted with the Greece-Bulgaria Gas Interconnector (IGB). This pipeline connects gas from Azerbaijan to Bulgaria through Greece and is part of the larger Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) network. 

Meloni in Tunisia: From the Mattei Plan to New Agreements

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni’s fourth visit to Tunisia underscores a shift from emergency measures to established cooperation, enhancing both institutional and personal ties with Tunisian President Kais Saied. Unlike previous visits, which focused on immediate crises such as the migrant situation in July 2023, this trip, accompanied by two Ministers and a deputy Minister, aimed at solidifying concrete agreements.

Meloni’s visit emphasized a new approach, focusing on cooperation that has yielded significant results, notably a 60% reduction in migrant arrivals from Tunisia to Italy due to joint efforts against human traffickers. The strategy reflects the longstanding friendship between Italy and Tunisia and Meloni’s personal rapport with Saied. This visit resulted in several significant agreements. Three key agreements were signed in Carthage: Energy Support: Direct support for Tunisia’s budget in renewable energy and energy efficiency, recognizing the strategic importance of energy cooperation between Italy and Tunisia. Credit for SMEs: Establishing and strengthening a new line of credit for small and medium-sized enterprises in Tunisia. Higher Education: Enhancing cooperation in university and higher education.

Italy's space ambitions. are turning towards Africa

The Italian Space Agency (ASI) and the Egyptian Space Agency (EGSA) signed a memorandum of understanding, following the tradition of the Mattei Plan and in the interest of national development. This collaboration aims to encourage investments in the space sector, facilitating joint projects and initiatives in the Mediterranean, Africa, and internationally. The decision to sign in Cairo also signals Italy’s interest in collaborating with the new African Space Agency (AFSA), established in January 2023, headquartered in Cairo. AFSA, promoted by the African Union, aims to coordinate space efforts across the continent to maximize the impact of space technologies on sustainable development.

Italy’s collaboration with Africa particularly leverages its Malindi Space Centre in Kenya. The Italian Government aims to make Malindi a strategic asset, reinforcing Italy’s role in Africa. Space is integral to the Mattei Plan, which includes industrial and training policies with African countries. Additionally, as Europe’s only other launch site, Kourou in French Guiana, may not meet future launch demands, a second site like Malindi could support European space efforts and align with Africa’s growing space interests.

Orsini presents his team

Ten elective vice presidents have been appointed, with three confirmed roles: Francesco De Santis will continue his focus on Research and Development; Maurizio Marchesini, after overseeing Supply Chains and Small Businesses, will now handle Labor and Industrial Relations; and Stefan Pan, who will continue his work in Europe over the past four years as the president’s delegate, is appointed as vice president for the European Union and relations with European industry associations.

The other appointees are: Lucia Aleotti, who will serve as vice president for the Research Center, pivotal in defining economic policy strategies; Angelo Camilli, taking over Credit, Finance, and Taxation from Orsini; Barbara Cimmino, responsible for exports and investment attraction. Vincenzo Marinese will oversee Organization and Relations with regions and sectors, while Natale Mazzuca will handle strategic policies and Southern Italy’s development. Marco Nocivelli takes on the new role of Industrial Policies and Made in Italy, and Lara Ponti focuses on environmental transition and ESG.

Completing the presidency team are three statutory vice presidents: Giovanni Baroni, representing Small Industry; Riccardo Di Stefano, representing Young Entrepreneurs; and Annalisa Sassi, representing Regional Representatives. The new board will also include five presidential delegates: Leopoldo Destro for Transportation, Logistics, and Tourism Industry; Riccardo Di Stefano for Education; Giorgio Marsiaj for Space Economy; Aurelio Regina for Energy; and Mario Zanetti for Maritime Economy. At the president’s request, the team will also benefit from the guidance of three special advisors: Antonio Gozzi for European Strategic Autonomy, the Mattei Plan, and Competitiveness; Gianfelice Rocca for Life Sciences; and Alberto Tripi for Artificial Intelligence.

Italian economy grows, but at different speeds

In the first quarter of 2024, Italy’s GDP grew by 0.3%, despite a contraction in industrial production and consumer goods consumption. Tourism reached record levels, services experienced moderate growth, and there was a positive net export. However, global issues such as disruptions in cargo transportation, high energy costs, and high interest rates are impacting negatively. Both households and businesses are losing confidence.

EU inflation keeps interest rates high. In April, Italy’s inflation remained low at 0.8%, with the decline in energy prices slowing down (annual decrease of 12.1% from 24.7% at the end of 2023), while core prices also slowed (2.1%). However, in the Eurozone, the descent has halted (2.4%), with core inflation high (2.7%) compared to the 2.0% threshold.

Domestic demand decreases. Credit continues to hinder consumption and investment, with minimal decreases in interest rates and a slowdown in lending to businesses. In March, consumer spending slowed, particularly on goods, as reflected in declining retail sales. In April, both household confidence and orders from companies producing capital goods declined, setting a negative tone for the second quarter.

Employment increases. In the first quarter, the number of employed individuals continued to rise, driven by an increase in permanent employees (+133,000 or 0.8%) and a decrease in temporary workers (-72,000 or -2.5%), while self-employed remained stable. However, the rise in authorized hours of wage supplementation signals a slowdown in labor utilization. Contractual wages in the private sector accelerated: +4.7% in industry in the first quarter of 2024 (compared to +3.2% in 2023), +2.3% in services (compared to +1.3%), compared to 0.9% inflation.

Services growth slows down. Foreign tourism spending in January-February increased by 20% compared to 2023, which was already a record year. In March, services experienced a slight decline (-3.2% according to RTT), but the first quarter ended with a 2.3% growth. In April, both the PMI and business confidence dropped slightly, indicating a slowdown.

Industry remains sluggish. RTT in the industrial sector further declined in March, following a slight decline in February. Together with a decrease in inventories, this aligns with the reduction in production (-0.5% in March, -1.3% in the first quarter). For April, all indicators were negative: HCOB PMI slipped back into contraction territory (47.3 from 50.4); the CSC quick survey showed a slight deterioration in production expectations; business confidence among manufacturers continues to fluctuate at low levels.

Net exports boost GDP. In the first quarter, Italian imports of goods dropped sharply (-2.8% in volume), more than exports (-0.8%), resulting in a positive contribution to GDP and an increase in the trade surplus (+€12.8 bln). Global trade stagnated in the first two months (-0.1% from Q4 2023).

Italian inflation remained low and stable in February, but in the Eurozone, inflation remains above the ECB’s target. Consequently, the ECB has kept rates steady, with the Fed expected to do the same. Markets have shifted expectations for the first rate cut to June. While consumer confidence and retail sales show marginal improvements, business investments and credit continue to decline. Despite some positive indicators, uncertainties persist, particularly regarding the stabilization of production in the industrial sector. Services saw a slight increase in January and February, indicating a return to growth, albeit moderate. However, business confidence experienced a setback after several months of improvement.

Francesco Maria Chelli appointed as President of Istat

After nearly a year, Istat will once again have a president in full function. Interestingly, there won’t be any real change in leadership as the solution has been found internally. Chelli currently serves as the acting president. As the senior counselor, he was already entrusted with leading the statistics institute on May 15th of last year, and since then, he has been acting as president after the attempt to reappoint Gian Carlo Blangiardo faced a hurdle with the two-thirds majority needed to ratify the nomination proposed by Palazzo Chigi, which Blangiardo, a former professor, failed to achieve.

After several back-and-forths, with the League of Matteo Salvini insisting on Blangiardo for months, the deadlock was finally broken with the Government’s decision (especially by Fratelli d’Italia and Forza Italia) to opt for a public tender to select the new head of Istat. Thus, after a list of names, the Council of Ministers has indicated Professor Chelli, and this time, his name is expected to receive parliamentary approval.

At the G7 Energy summit, major economies take the lead in transition

The recently concluded summit in Turin holds significant importance not only in preparation for the June G7 summit of Heads of State and Government in Puglia but also as a bridge to the Cop29 climate conference scheduled for November in Baku and for setting new emission targets before the subsequent Cop30 conference in Brazil in 2025. 

Regarding Africa, G7 countries have committed to collaborating particularly with African nations based on the political-cultural approach of the “Mattei Plan,” by establishing a G7 Hub dedicated to promoting a common approach “to be adopted in sustainable land management projects in Africa and the Mediterranean basin.” The commitment also includes support for the “most vulnerable” developing countries in establishing investment plans for climate change adaptation through the “G7 Adaptation Accelerator Hub” to promote partnerships aimed at implementing national adaptation plans.

Further commitments include reducing methane emissions from fossil fuel supply chains by 75% by 2030; decarbonizing industrial plants; promoting the security of critical raw material supply; exploring various options for decarbonizing the transportation sector; intending to double funding for adaptation, recognizing the crucial role of public finance; setting ambitious air quality standards in line with WHO guidelines; committing to halt plastic pollution, with particular reference to the seas and oceans.

Special attention has been given to the protection of natural resources with the decision to establish a “G7 Water Coalition,” recognizing the importance of water “for sustainable development, prosperity, and peace, and the need for concrete actions,” with the goal of identifying “common strategies to catalyze shared priorities in addressing the global water crisis and emphasizing the role of multisectoral approaches, raising global political attention on water.” 

G7 Digital Cyber-attacks surged in 2023

In 2023, there were 1,411 recorded cyber events and 303 confirmed incidents, according to Csirt data in the National Cyber Security Agency’s annual report presented by director Bruno Frattasi, along with Undersecretary Alfredo Mantovano and Lorenzo Guerini, president of COPASIR. The most common cyber events included DDoS attacks, email malware distribution, phishing, and ransomware. The most affected sectors were telecommunications, transportation, and financial services. Prefect Frattasi also highlighted the agency’s international cooperation, mentioning the Counter Ransomware Initiative launched by the United States, bilateral agreements signed (the first with Tunisia), and the upcoming meeting on May 16th in Rome, where the G7 working group on cybersecurity will convene under the Italian presidency.

Italian Closure of the Golden Power investigation on Ferretti

The issue regarding the Golden Power investigation initiated by the Prime Minister’s Office following a notification from Ferretti Group regarding the purchase and cancellation of its own shares (up to a maximum of 10%) has been concluded. 

The Prime Minister’s Office requested information on the operation, including its effects on governance and management. An appointment was set with the company, listed on both the Hong Kong and Milan stock exchanges, whose main shareholder with 37.541% of shares is Weichai, a giant controlled by the Government of the Chinese province of Shandong. Subsequently, Ferretti’s board of directors convened on Easter Sunday and decided to revoke the resolutions on the so-called buy-back, asking the company to immediately withdraw the notification and cancel the meeting scheduled a few days later.

On Monday, April 15th, the Golden Power Coordinating Group “noted the withdrawal of the aforementioned notification” communicated the previous Wednesday, April 10th. This brought the matter to a close without further consequences. This decision sets a precedent, if nothing else, due to the exceptional nature of a case where an investigation was initiated based on a decision revoked after clarification was requested by the Prime Minister’s Office.

State participations map of expiring leadership positions in 2024

The renewal of leadership positions in companies under the Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) expected in the coming months will involve 694 individuals, for 154 boards of directors in 122 affiliated companies.  Among these 122 companies, 19 are under direct control and 103 under indirect control. Of the 154 leadership positions, 89 are on boards of directors and 65 on supervisory boards. The 694 individuals are divided into 424 directors and 270 auditors. 

Among them, 114 individuals sit on boards of companies directly controlled by the MEF (56 directors and 58 auditors), and 580 sit on boards of indirectly controlled companies (424 directors and 270 auditors). These are the main findings of the Seventh edition of CoMar’s analysis – a study center on the governance of all state-owned enterprises, individually surveyed from official documents: out of the 694 outgoing members of leadership positions in the coming months, women account for 226, totaling 32.5% overall. Among the companies directly controlled by the MEF, the involved entities include, among others, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Cinecittà, Eur, Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane, Gestore dei Servizi Elettrici, Invimit, Rai, and STMicroelectronics; while among the indirectly controlled companies, through their respective parent companies, are affiliates of Banca MPS, CDP (Fintecna, Open Fiber), Enel, Eni (Saipem), FS (Anas), Gestore Servizi Energetici, Invitalia, Leonardo (Telespazio), and Poste Italiane. 

It should be noted that not all board members are appointed by the MEF or its parent companies, as there are members representing other shareholders. The MEF plays a significantly dominant role in all economic-financial and employment-related parameters (52.2% of total employees). Within the MEF’s perimeter, as of April 15, 2024, there are 61 controlled companies, either directly (37) or indirectly, through Cassa Depositi e Prestiti; excluding additional 9 companies where CDP holds only joint control or influence (Enciclopedia Treccani, F2i, Telecom Italia, Trevi, Webuild, etc.). In the last five years, there has been a redefinition of the role of the “entrepreneurial state“. One testimony is provided by the reorganization of the MEF, with the establishment of the Department of Economics.

Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, time for new appointments

The moment for a new round of appointments for public subsidiaries is approaching, with particular focus on the board of directors of Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP), whose assembly is scheduled for the first call on May 13th and the second call on May 24th.

The key position at stake is that of the CEO, currently held by Dario Scannapieco. Until 2021, he was the president of the board of directors of the European Investment Fund and was subsequently chosen by Mario Draghi to lead one of Italy’s main financial institutions.

Under the Meloni Government, Scannapieco’s name was the first to be questioned. He has deferred to the wishes of Palazzo Chigi, while also strengthening relations with the Government, particularly through the work of his chief of staff, Fabio Barchiesi. Doubts about his confirmation persist from Minister of Economy and Finance Giorgetti and Mimit Urso, but replacing him may not be straightforward.

According to sources, there aren’t many alternative candidates. Antonino Turicchi, president of Ita must remain in his position to continue negotiations with the EU and Lufthansa. Additionally, Marcello Sala, head of Treasury’s subsidiaries, was appointed just a year ago and would be difficult to replace. Prime Minister Meloni, on the other hand, was not opposed to Edoardo Ravà, managing director of Goldman Sachs.

Regarding the presidency of CDP, a decision that falls to former banking foundations holding 13% of the shares, everything points to another term for Giovanni Gorno Tempini, already confirmed in 2021. The Banco di Sardegna Foundation, CDP’s largest shareholder, is expected to nominate another director, as will the smaller foundations.

Once the CDP issue is settled, attention will turn to Ferrovie dello Stato (Italian State Railways). Matteo Salvini reportedly wants to replace the current CEO, Luigi Ferraris, with Stefano Donnarumma, and has already received approval from Giorgia Meloni. Ferraris would then move to the top of Netco, which is currently being sold to the US fund KKR.

Leonardo's Gabriele Pieralli appointed as new CEO of Telespazio

Gabriele Pieralli has been appointed as the new CEO of Telespazio, a joint venture between Leonardo (67%) and Thales (33%), which provides satellite services. The appointment was made by the company’s board of directors. Pieralli replaces Luigi Pasquali, who has been leading the company since 2013 and has also been coordinating Leonardo’s space activities since 2016. The appointment comes at a critical time, with Leonardo aiming to consolidate the company within the group as part of its new focus on space, represented by the creation of a new Space division. The new division will streamline operations and consolidate the group’s capabilities, particularly in the services market, where Telespazio specializes, leveraging existing infrastructures like those at Fucino.

Born in Florence in 1968, Pieralli graduated from the University of Florence in Electronic Engineering, specializing in telecommunications. He has a long career in the aerospace and defense sectors. Before joining Telespazio in 2023 as Chief Operating Officer, Pieralli worked at Leonardo, where since June 2021, he was the Managing Director of the Electronics division. He also worked at the aerospace component manufacturing company Sirio, where from 2014 to 2016, he served as CEO. Additionally, Pieralli is currently the Chairman of the Board of Thales Alenia Space Italy.

Changes at Sparkle

The shareholders’ assembly of Sparkle met to approve the 2023 financial statements and renew the board of directors, appointing Alessandro Pansa as President. The new board, consisting of seven members with a 40% female representation, convened for the first time following the assembly and confirmed Enrico Maria Bagnasco as CEO.

Netco sale to KKR under scrutiny

The sale of Netco to the American fund KKR is under scrutiny by the EU Antitrust, which has summoned Tim‘s competitors, Fastweb, Vodafone, and Iliad, for next week to hear their views on the network spin-off, the consequences on the wholesale market, and the privileged relationship that will clearly tie NetCo to ServCo.

Apparently, everything will be concluded swiftly within the first 10 days of June in Phase 1. There is urgency to close the deal. Phase 2 is not considered, also because in this case, it would extend beyond the European elections, causing a significant drain on Tim’s finances.

Meanwhile, the DG Comp will provide its opinion on the NetCo operation by the end of May. If all goes well, with the end of Phase 1, Brussels will give a positive response, and the operation can proceed according to the schedule set by CEO Pietro Labriola.

In practice, the network sale implies the end of vertical integration between Tim’s network and services, but the degree of separation between the two new entities remains to be clarified. Strong doubts have emerged about the sustainability of ServCo, which will retain approximately 18,000 employees and a debt share of around 6-7 bln euros.

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