Benetton holding says dismayed by road probe, hints at action

ROME (Reuters) - Edizione, the Benetton family holding company which has a controlling stake in Italian infrastructure group Atlantia, said at the weekend it was dismayed by revelations of alleged safety violations in its road operations. Police investigating the deadly collapse of a bridge in Genoa last year said on Friday they had found evidence that safety reports for some viaducts had been falsified and placed under house arrest three employees of firms owned by Atlantia.

Reuters September 16, 2019 00:07:35 IST
Benetton holding says dismayed by road probe, hints at action

Benetton holding says dismayed by road probe hints at action

ROME (Reuters) - Edizione, the Benetton family holding company which has a controlling stake in Italian infrastructure group Atlantia, said at the weekend it was dismayed by revelations of alleged safety violations in its road operations.

Police investigating the deadly collapse of a bridge in Genoa last year said on Friday they had found evidence that safety reports for some viaducts had been falsified and placed under house arrest three employees of firms owned by Atlantia.

In a sharply worded statement, Edizione Srl, which holds 30.25% of Atlantia, said it had full respect for the latest investigation and was following the case closely.

"Edizione ... will without hesitation and immediately take all necessary action ... to safeguard the credibility, reputation and good name of its shareholders and subsidiaries," the Benetton holding said.

Italian newspapers said the Edizione statement represented a sharp change of tone from previous comments, when they had always defended their managers. La Repubblica said the position of Atlantia CEO Giovanni Castellucci was "very difficult".

The board of Edizione is due to meet on Monday. A spokesman for the holding said the meeting had already been scheduled and declined to comment further. Atlantia declined to comment.

Atlantia, which controls Italian motorway toll firm Autostrade per l'Italia, has come under scrutiny since the collapse last year of a Genoa road bridge that killed 43 people.

Il Sole 24 ore and Corriere della Sera newspapers reported that Autostrade could be sold or spun-off, but the Edizione spokesman denied the reports. "This is not an option that can be considered," he said.

The three people placed under house arrest on Friday are employed by Autostrade and maintenance company SPEA Engineering, the police said.

The board of SPEA offered to resign at the weekend over the scandal, while Autostrade, which is due to hold an extraordinary board meeting on Monday, said on Saturday it was suspending two of its employees as a precautionary measure.

The new investigation comes against the backdrop of heavy political pressure on Atlantia, with the ruling coalition party, the 5-Star Movement, demanding that Autostrade be stripped of its lucrative motorway concession because of the Genoa disaster.

5-Star leader Luigi Di Maio reiterated the demand on Saturday. "We are moving ahead with our desire to revoke Atlantia's road network," Di Maio told reporters.

On Friday, Atlantia said it would launch an immediate audit to verify whether the companies and people targeted by the latest probe had followed internal procedures correctly.

(Reporting by Silvia Aloisi and Stefano Bernabei; Writing by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Raissa Kasolowsky)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

Find latest and upcoming tech gadgets online on Tech2 Gadgets. Get technology news, gadgets reviews & ratings. Popular gadgets including laptop, tablet and mobile specifications, features, prices, comparison.

also read

Canada will continue to stand up against Chinese human rights abuses, PM Trudeau says
World

Canada will continue to stand up against Chinese human rights abuses, PM Trudeau says

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday said he will continue to stand up against China's "coercive diplomacy" and its human rights abuses in Hong Kong and Xinjiang after being rebuked by Beijing for similar comments earlier this week. "We will stand up loudly and clearly for human rights all around the world, whether it is talking about the situation faced by the Uighurs, whether it is talking about the very concerning situation in Hong Kong, whether it's calling out China for its coercive diplomacy," Trudeau said in a news conference. (Reporting by Steve Scherer and Julie Gordon, Editing by Franklin Paul)

Young people in France: 'Don't make us scapegoats for COVID-19'
World

Young people in France: 'Don't make us scapegoats for COVID-19'

By Caroline Pailliez PARIS (Reuters) - Solene Tissot, a 19-year-old student in Paris, will obey the curfew imposed to fight COVID-19, but she has one request for her country's leaders: don't blame young people for the second wave of the virus. "There's been this kind of assigning guilt to young people," she said on Friday, hours before the new curfew was to come into force in Paris and major French cities. "I reject that." After a lull over the summer, the rates of transmission of coronavirus are going up in many parts of Europe and officials have identified social interactions between young people as a source of the resurgence.

Wider Image: Jailed Philippine activist lays to rest her three-month-old baby
World

Wider Image: Jailed Philippine activist lays to rest her three-month-old baby

By Adrian Portugal and Eloisa Lopez MANILA (Reuters) - Jailed Philippine activist Reina Mae Nasino wanted to hold her three-month-old daughter for the last time before she was laid to rest on Friday but she could not. Heavily armed prison officials guarding her refused to uncuff her despite pleas from her family and human rights supporters, who have decried what they described as inhumane treatment of Nasino and other mothers in Philippine jails.