Italy prepares to make revoking motorway concessions easier: document


ROME (Reuters) – The Italian government is preparing a decree to make revoking concessions to operate the country’s motorways easier and less costly, a draft document seen by Reuters showed on Saturday.

The decree, which is expected to be approved in a cabinet meeting on Saturday, says that state-owned roadway company ANAS will temporarily manage motorways if an operator is sacked.

It also considerably reduces the amounts the government must pay to a toll road company if a concession is revoked due to shortcomings on the part of the operator.

The ruling 5-Star Movement has repeatedly blamed Atlantia, a company controlled by the Benetton family, for the collapse of a Genoa bridge which killed 43 people in 2018.

Atlantia has denied any wrongdoing and said it carried out maintenance of the bridge as required by the contract.

The decree does not mention Atlantia, but a government source told Reuters that the measures could be applied to it.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte said this month a decision on whether to revoke Atlantia’s motorway concession would be taken by the end of the year.

Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, writing by Giselda Vagnoni; editing by James Drummond and Alexander Smith