Motorways to the listing
Highways, Luciano Benetton: “Treated worse than a maid”
Highways becomes public: the reactions of the policy
The agreement the Government and the Benetton family was hailed as a success of the policywhich would resolve – on paper – has all the nodes come home to roost after the drama of the bridge Morandi and the subsequent disturbing revelations about the state of maintenance of tunnels and viaducts. It is not so, the doubts are still many people, even if, strangely, the newspapers have stopped talking about it, as if it were a solved problem. But for us everything is still suspended in the limbo of the proclamations. And not to defeatism, let’s start with the list a positive aspect.
The court case and the responsibility
Good that the Government has avoided to end up in a legal dispute with Atlantia, which would hurt at all, justice including. The faults of Highways and its subsidiary Spea (that was to treat the maintenance of the facilities) appear huge, but equally huge was the mistake of those who – to the Government and in the Parliament in 2007 (Prodi Government) and in 2009 (the Berlusconi Government) – has signed with Autostrade Per l’italia the convention that, in the event of revocation, even for gross negligence, provided compensation from the State to ASPI equal to the revenue of the last year multiplied by the number of years revoked. And it is not a case that in occasion of the last renewal (Government Gentiloni, minister Delrio) the concession has been stretched by the natural expiry date of 2038 until 2042, in exchange for the completion of the Eaves, North of Genoa, which is far from a good point.
Evil that, in the recent agreement, he does not make mention of a social need felt at all levels: to indicate the names of those who – in his time – has written, signed and approved the agreement between the State and the ASPI. Actually more than a convention, that document, it appears today as a “circumvention of incapable”, where the incapable was our political party, that of the years 2007-2009, which – after the collapse of the bridge Morandi, and in the light of the facts later – really appears as the succubus of a diktat or completely inert in front of a condition-halter. Those names are not blown out, nor is it said, which will be shown. Evil, very evil, because it hides to us and to Justice the true authors of the crime.
The protection of the work force
Well that has been saved the job of those who work in the Highways and in its subsidiaries. Despite what has happened to the jets a bad light on the leadership, we have no hesitation to recognize that the professionalism of its workers is higher than that of other motorway concessionaires. And it is probably the highest in Italy. Transfer of the Anas, called by most parts, it would open a flood of new problems. However, we know of entire operating units that have been reduced or cancelled after the privatization of 1999. We point out, for example, the equipment for the inspection and monitoring of bridges and viaducts, the intervention teams in case of snow, and many other facilities that now will be reactivated.
Evil that the agreement has not been revoked, the faculty and the ministry of Infrastructure has granted to the Motorways to run the 40% of the maintenance work to subsidiaries of the group. Which casts some shadow on the fairness of the costs of such works. Yesterday, today and tomorrow.
The public good
Well, that the State has decided to enter – through its financial institutions – the shareholders of ASPI. The term nationalization is scary, because it is easy to quote examples of bad government of what is public. But just as easy would be to cite the cases of state-owned enterprises the Italian topped the charts around the world (Eni, Fincantieri, Finmeccanica, Leonardo, Alenia).
In Great Britain, Germany, Sweden, Norway, the highways may not be given in concession to a private company because it is believed that they are strategic structures, of which the State must not relinquish control. In France, Spain and Italy, however, prevailed in the political decision to consider structures that are not strategic. If the tangential of Milan, that of Bologna, the Grande raccordo Anulare of Rome, they were – as they are – in the hands of private companies (in the share capital of Atlantia there are chinese funds), as we put it in the case of a conflict? All the roads are strategic. The motorways are more than that.
Evil. What will be the cost to the State, that is, to us, to enter the capital, to reduce the share of the Benetton family to one bandied about 10-12%? We have seen it all in the bag the leap of 27% in the listing of the company on July 16, the day after the agreement. It simply means that the value of the shares held by the family (88% of the total), grew up in a night of over 700 million euro, after it had lost 23% in the previous week. Now the State wants to invest in, but in the agreement there is written what is the cost. There will be an increase of capital, but who decides and under what conditions?
The question of tolls
Well that is appeared in the agreement that the tolls were inflated by the investments not made, or actions not performed properly, and that now there will be a “substantial reduction”.
Evil the adjective substantial is added a percentage. How much will be reduced? And, above all, by when? On what routes? And other concessionaires, who also have their own shortcomings on the subject of maintenance and investment, they should drop The tolls?
Last consideration: when we reduced The tolls on Autostrade per l’italia is expected that the State will hold the majority of the shares of the company, then you will cut the income in the house… Because they have not had the courage to define, right now, tomorrow, than you must lower all The tolls?