Italy PM meeting with allies fails to break Atlantia deadlock
By Giuseppe Fonte ROME (Reuters) - A meeting between Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and coalition allies on Wednesday to try settle a row over Atlantia's motorway business yielded no progress, two government sources said. Fresh talks on the matter are expected soon, the two people added, without giving a precise date. The ruling, anti-establishment 5-Star Movement pledged to strip Autostrade per l'Italia of its lucrative concession to run motorways after the deadly 2018 collapse of a bridge it operated in Genoa.
By Giuseppe Fonte
ROME (Reuters) - A meeting between Italy's Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte and coalition allies on Wednesday to try settle a row over Atlantia's
Fresh talks on the matter are expected soon, the two people added, without giving a precise date.
The ruling, anti-establishment 5-Star Movement pledged to strip Autostrade per l'Italia of its lucrative concession to run motorways after the deadly 2018 collapse of a bridge it operated in Genoa.
The centre-left PD party, which governs with 5-Star, has been reluctant to deprive Autostrade of its concession, fearing it could lead to a large compensation claim against the state.
A spokesman for the prime minister's office said later that the talks had been "useful" to review the "delicate dossier" and there would be further analysis of the matter over the next few days.
A resolution of the issue of the concession could clear the way for a 1.25 billion-euro ($1.37 billion) state-guaranteed loan which Autostrade has applied for to weather the coronavirus crisis.
The request for help during the virus pandemic triggered criticism last week from 5-Star members who are against the state guaranteeing funding to Atlantia, led by the Benetton family.
5-star wants either a revocation of the concession or for Atlantia to reduce its 88% stake in Autostrade so that the Benetton family loses control of the motorway operator, a party source said.
The government would back an acquisition of a substantial stake in Autostrade by infrastructure fund F2i and state lender CDP, the government sources said.
However, a third source close to the matter told Reuters that CDP was unwilling to take a stake in Autostrade before the dispute with the government was settled.
Shares in Atlantia closed up 3.7% at 15.09 euros.
($1 = 0.9124 euros)
(Additional reporting by Angelo Amante and Stephen Jewkes; Editing by Kirsten Donovan, Mark Potter and Gavin Jones)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Lucia Mutikani WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer confidence jumped to a 14-month high in April as increased vaccinations against COVID-19 and additional fiscal stimulus allowed for more services businesses to reopen, boosting demand and hiring by companies. The upbeat survey from the Conference Board on Tuesday, which also showed a strong increase in vacation plans, suggested the economy continued to power ahead early in the second quarter after what appears to have been robust growth in the first three months of the year, believed by many economists to have been the second strongest since 2003.
(Reuters) - The space race between the world's two richest men went into hyperdrive on Tuesday after Tesla chief Elon Musk took a swipe at Jeff Bezos' attempt to challenge a major NASA contract. The two billionaires, who have been trying to launch long-range orbital rockets, were competing for a coveted contract from the government to build a spaceship to deliver astronauts to the moon as early as 2024. Musk won.
By Shivani Kumaresan and Noel Randewich (Reuters) - The S&P 500 and Nasdaq closed at record highs on Monday, fueled by Tesla Inc and other heavyweight growth stocks ahead of a deluge of earnings reports this week. The Nasdaq's record high close confirmed the end of an 11% correction in the index that began after its previous record high close on Feb.