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Alitalia workers strike cancels flights at Rome airport

ROME (AP) – Hundreds of workers at Italy’s Alitalia airline staged a four-hour strike outside Rome’s international airport on Friday in protest of plans to oust a long-running airline.

The Italian government is negotiating with the European Union over what aid Alitalia could provide. Եւ Opposes strict “economic cessation” requirements as the government sets up a new severed company to replace the bankrupt.

EU terms include requirements to discontinue Alitalia, waive seats at Milan Linate Airport, sell business handling parts to third parties to focus on aviation, according to Italian media.

The new company, now called ITA, is likely to be radically smaller in terms of both aircraft and staff.

Fabio Frati from the USB Transport Union said that the employees of the airline will not accept the dismissal.

“We have become the symbol of this country, the symbol of the sovereignty and independence of this nation,” he said.

Alitalia workers have been protesting for weeks around Italy, pointing to state aid provided by national governments to other European carriers that have suffered losses due to the coronavirus epidemic. The strike on Friday forced the cancellation of 40 flights, according to Alitalia.

Alitalia has been under the recipient since 2017 է has kept a surface with more than 5 billion euros of public money. The Italian government this week approved a € 50 million advance payment to cover workers’ April wages, part of a package to cover lost income during the epidemic.

Prime Minister Mario Draghi told Alitalia that he had flown with the airline for almost exclusively decades, but said the company needed to be reorganized to “be able to fly on its own.”

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