Italian drama as Tronchetti quits, Rossi takes over

The chairman of Telecom Italia, Marco Tronchetti Provera on Friday night quit the company as the row between the company and the Italian government reached breaking point.

Following an extraordinary board meeting in Milan on Friday night the company announced that Tronchetti had quit. He took over the company in 2001 and remains the company’s biggest shareholder.

Soon after the resignation, Guido Rossi, the lawyer who led the recent inquiry into corruption in Italian football, assumed the chairmanship. By this morning (Monday) Rossi was already looking to calm TI’s investors by assuring them the is ‘financially and technologically strong’. In the Italian daily ‘La Stampa’ he said the company was strong enough to get through the past week’s drama.

At the same time Angelo Rovati, an economic advisor to PM Prodi, announced his resignation. Rovati was heavily criticised for having proposed the partial nationalisation of Telecom Italia fixed-line network.

The Italian press blamed Rovati – among others – last week for making public details of the proposed sell-off of TIM and a private conversation between Prodi and TI’s (then) chairman, Tronchetti.

Tronchetti’s departure underlined tension between the government as he left accusing Prodi and his team of interference.

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