BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Commission has opened an investigation into whether a 400 million-euro ($440 million) loan from the Italian government to airline Alitalia breached state aid rules.
The EU’s executive arm said Monday that Italy approved the loan in December “to facilitate the streamlining of the company in order to attempt to sell its assets.”
Alitalia has been struggling financially in recent years. In May 2017, it was placed under extraordinary administration under Italian bankruptcy law and Italian authorities decided to sell the company’s assets.
Two years ago, the European Commission opened a still ongoing investigation into another loan worth 900 million euros granted by the Italian government to allow Alitalia to continue operating.
The EU said the new investigations will “provide clarity to Italy and the company as well as interested buyer(s), if the 400 million-euro loan constitutes State aid and if it complies with EU State aid rules.”