FS Italiane privatization process, Delrio: we will take all the time that is needed

Rome, 13th January 2016

The FS Group privatization process, as also proved by Poste, “must take all the time that is needed, even though we made a commitment to Europe to do it by 2016.”

This is what the Italian Minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Mr. Graziano Delrio, told today to the Senate Public Works Committee, by explaining that “the listing of this large industrial group must generate the capital that is needed to develop a sector that has huge potential.”

Mr. Delrio confirmed that, even though there are several options regarding the privatization process, they still have not made a choice about it.

"At the moment - said the minister - the government wants to see the business plan drawn up by the new FS’ top management, in order to enhance all involved business lines.”

In our opinion - Mr. Delrio went on - the privatization process should ensure public ownership of the rail network in order not to affect the investments in efficiency and technology with purposes that are not related to public service efficiency and to maximum passengers’ safety."

Moreover, according to Mr. Delrio, FS’ privatization "is not a plan for reducing public debt, but it should be a large industrial project aims at developing national champions in various industries.”

As Mr. Padoan said, "the privatization will take place when there will be the maximum benefit for the national budget. That said, first we have to fix several issues."

The minister then explained that within the FS Group "there are still business lines affected by performance problems, such as regional public transport and goods transport.”

“Italy is a country that shows a strong performance of the high-speed network on the one hand, low speed and low efficiency of the regional public transport on the other."

For this reason, “we ask for a substantial investment in the rolling stock, because we believe that the regional transport is a fundamental subject, as affects millions of people every day. In our opinion, this subject still deserves attention."

"The efficiency of the several holding’s subsidiaries is a very important topic" - said the minister - highlighting that "the positive resolution and the great interest shown in the privatization of Grandi Stazioni is an example of how to improve subsidiaries’ efficiency lead to significant results."

Again on the local public transport "we already drafted the reform, now we are ready to start the discussion about it."

Regarding the timing of the reform debate in the Council of Ministers, Mr. Delrio did not comment, by explaining that in the following weeks there are already many other measures which need to be discussed.

The draft is also ready from regulatory side - the minister pointed out – by explaining the engagement of the new FS’ management too.

"Everything was done in accordance with the FS’ top management. Like me, they see the privatization as an important opportunity for the company's development."

"We are optimistic that the start of the privatization process involves an improvement in the overall efficiency of the system - Mr. Delrio concluded - because lead to a higher transparency and to a better attention to the government accounts and citizens satisfaction.”

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