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IAG calls for EU to intervene in Italy's 'illegal' Alitalia rescue

International Airlines Group (ICAG.L) said Italy's rescue of near-bankrupt airline Alitalia was "illegal" on Monday and urged the European Commission to intervene.

"We have always been opposed to state aid. It's protectionist, undermines competition and favors failing airlines that have not got to grips with economic reality," said a spokeswoman for IAG, Europe's third biggest airline by market value.

"We would urge and expect the EU Commission to take interim measures to suspend this manifestly illegal aid."

IAG owns Spanish carrier Iberia and British Airways.

A spokesman for the European Commission said last week the Commission would examine Alitalia's emergency plan once it had been notified. The spokesman said that in principle Alitalia could receive state aid if the EU's rules in regards to restructuring were respected.

[Source: Reuters, London, 14Oct13]

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