Here’s how Renzi beats Conte on Fincantieri-Stx

Here's how Renzi beats Conte on Fincantieri-Stx

The reasons for the sinking of the great Franco-Italian alliance with Fincantieri and the former Stx and the arrows of Italia Viva to the executive Conte

The shipwreck of the European champion of the seas, the result of the merger between Fincantieri (controlled by Cdp Industria) and the former Stx France, of which the French State is the largest shareholder, is increasingly probable.

Italy and France would be ready to withdraw the agreement between the Trieste shipbuilding group and Chantiers de l'Atlantique (formerly Stx).

Today at 18.15 there will be a telephone discussion between the French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire, the Minister of Economic Development Stefano Patuanelli and the competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager, confirmed the EU Executive. At the center of the conversation are the latest developments in the transaction for the sale of the Chantiers de l'Atlantique (formerly Stx) to Fincantieri, now considered to have disappeared.

In the meantime, the former undersecretary Ivan Scalfarotto, exponent of Italia Viva, the party led by Matteo Renzi that opened the crisis of the Conte 2 government, also pronounced a surprise today on the Fincantieri operation .

Scalfarotto launched a significant dig at the Conte executive, accusing him of having shown little political weight in the Italian-French operation.

Here are news and details on the sale of Chantiers de l'Atlantique (ex Stx) to Fincantieri.


An end to the acquisition of the French shipyard by Fincantieri, which began in April 2017, is expected in a few hours.

According to French sources, the latest details will be discussed in an upcoming phone call, this afternoon at 6.15 pm, between ministers Patuanelli and Le Maire and the EU Commissioner for Competition, the Danish Margrethe Vestager.

Just yesterday the EU Commissioner declared that "it is up to the parties to decide what to do".


In fact, there are just a few days from the expiry of the extension of January 31 to make the agreement between Rome and Paris operational.

On 30 December, Fincantieri agreed to the French government's proposal to extend the contract for the sale of 50% of the Chantiers de l'Atlantique, the Saint Nazaire shipyard, for one month, which had previously ended on 31 December 2020.

Both sides then, Italy and France, had passed the ball to Brussels where the decision of the European Commission was awaited to celebrate the wedding between Fincantieri and the Chantiers de l'Atlantique in danger of disappearing.

Under the Brussels lens are the potential risks for a reduction in competition in the sector. Added to this are the unknowns beyond the Alps with the French Senate which had expressed concern about the employment levels of local shipyards and the risk of a transfer of know-how to China in the light of the joint venture signed between Fincantieri and China State Shipbuilding Corporation.


"It is up to the owners, as well as from France and Italy, to decide what will happen" regarding the merger between Fincantieri and Chantiers de l'Atlantique, but "we have sent a series of questions to assess what the impact of the crisis of the Covid in this sector and until we have the answers we cannot evaluate the case ”, said yesterday the vice president of the European Commission, Margrethe Vestager, during a press conference.

"It depends on the parties in question to decide what they will do," added the commissioner of the possible new request to extend the time. "They have already extended the deadline once" on the procedure within the Commission, which is called upon to decide whether the operation complies with European rules ".

“It's not up to me, it's up to them to decide what to do with this deadline,” Vestager concluded.


And the two parties, Rome and Paris, would have decided to throw in the towel on the acquisition of the former Stx shipyards by the Trieste shipyard group.

According to press sources, the Italian and French ministers of economy will agree on the way out of the project during the telephone conversation scheduled this Wednesday afternoon with Commissioner Vestager.

As Repubblica wrote, “Patuanelli and Le Maire meanwhile reached an agreement to withdraw the operation, blaming Covid for the choice. A ploy to avoid blaming the EU for black smoke (Siemens-Alstom style) and playing a dangerous blame game between Italy and France. The Commission will thus be able to close the thorny dossier in a soft way, or in an administrative way ".


As Le Figaro wrote, “France does not want to upset Italy, a friend and partner country, with which it has just celebrated the birth of Stellantis, the result of the marriage between PSA and FCA. The health crisis offers a way out. The naval alliance has lost its charm since its inception. Covid-19 has blocked the cruise market, the future of which still appears uncertain ".

“The health crisis offers a way out of this acquisition project contested by shipyard trade unions and local elected officials in western France”, the French daily points out.


So does the Italian government also accept without batting an eye to put an end to the operation that would have consolidated Fincantieri?

“The reality is that we would have expected a strong intervention from Minister Roberto Gualtieri, shareholder of Fincantieri”, commented Claudio Antonelli in La Verità a month ago.

The Italian state in fact holds 71% of Fincantieri through Cdp and perhaps greater support was expected for the position of the Trieste group.


The latter position was also expressed by an exponent of Italia Viva, the party of Matteo Renzi, which opened the crisis of the Conte due government.

This morning at "L'Aria che tira" on La7, Ivan Scalfarotto, former Undersecretary for Foreign Affairs of Italia Viva who resigned with the two Renzian ministers Elena Bonetti and Teresa Bellanova, said: "The acquisition by Fincantieri of the shipyards French is the sign of the very light political weight of our government ”.

Before the split with Prime Minister Conte on 13 January, Italia Viva himself had sent a document on the Treasury's holdings to the Democratic Party and other parties that make up the majority that supports the Conte government. In the document, between criticisms, requests and expectations of Italia Viva, the strategic role of the CDP is mentioned. “The vision before the appointments. How much must enter the companies? With what purpose? ”, Reads the document drawn up by the party led by Renzi.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL on Wed, 27 Jan 2021 14:34:46 +0000.