Fincantieri Should Rebuild Fallen Genoa Bridge, Di Maio Says

(Bloomberg) -- Italy’s Fincantieri SpA should rebuild the bridge that collapsed earlier this month in Genoa to ensure government control over the process, Deputy Premier Luigi Di Maio said.

“Having Fincantieri and Cassa Depositi e Prestiti handle reconstruction will allow the State to have very strong control,” Di Maio said on Facebook. He said highway operator Autostrade per l’Italia, a unit of Atlantia SpA, can pay for rebuilding but can’t be involved. State lender Cassa Depositi owns 72.5 percent of Fincantieri.

Di Maio said that nationalization is the only solution for the country’s highways, which should neither be left with Autostrade nor given to other private highway companies in Italy. He also said he wants to avoid putting “strategic infrastructure into foreign hands.”

Autostrade is the largest toll-road operator in Italy, controlling about half the market. Its parent company Atlantia is controlled by Italy’s Benetton family. Di Maio and Transport Minister Danilo Toninelli have been threatening Atlantia with nationalization of the toll roads since the collapse of a bridge in Genoa that killed 43 people on Aug. 14. Di Maio’s coalition partners of the League party have been less strident, with cabinet undersecretary Giancarlo Giorgetti saying state management of highways is not necessarily more efficient.

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