labels: News reports, Airlines, Air France KLM
Berlusconi spooks AF-KLM/Alitalia merger bid working on an all-Italian bid news
24 March 2008

Rome: The long running saga of troubled Italian flag carrier, Alitalia, lurched into its next episode with  ex-prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, who is slated to become prime minister once again after next month's elections, stating last week that he will reject Air France-KLM's acquisition of Alitalia, if, and when, he assumes office.

A day after calling on Italian bidders to step forward and make an offer, Berlusconi told the ANSA news agency, "The response to Air France-KLM that the next prime minister will give will be a clear 'no,' not because it's against France but because it's against the conditions as they were presented."

He also said that he was making efforts to raise an Italian bid for the carrier and would be able to present one "in a few days."

"I am absolutely confident we can do it with the support of important banks. I am now involved, so it will get done," he said.

AF-KLM have emphsasised that a decision must be made soon. Last week, AF-KLM commercial director, Christian Boireau, told the media, "What we are asking of Alitalia is that it make the necessary changes so as to be able to guarantee this future. . .We know what we can do and this plan must be either accepted or refused but now is the time, not in two months or in a month."


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Berlusconi spooks AF-KLM/Alitalia merger bid working on an all-Italian bid