Prodi still on the defensive over TI

6 Oct 2006

Italy’s prime minister Romano Prodi has reiterated his position concerning the planned restructuring of Telecom Italia. Prodi told the Senate that he was not informed of the telco’s plan to split its wireline and wireless businesses and perhaps sell off the mobile unit TIM; he gave a similar speech to the lower house last week. Telecom Italia’s former chairman, Marco Tronchetti Provera, has accused the PM of lying, however. He told the Financial Times that there was ‘no doubt’ that Prodi knew of the proposal before it was announced on 11 September. Prodi has been accused of meddling in the telco’s affairs after he joined those calling for its networks to remain in Italian hands and not be sold off to a foreign investor. Dow Jones reports that Prodi told the Senate that the government plans to learn a lesson from the controversy, and will reinforce the authority of independent regulators.

Italy, Telecom Italia (TIM)