Angel Gomez FuentesSEGUIRCorresponsal in Rome Updated: Save Send news by mail electrónicoTu name *

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The soap lasts nearly two years, wrapped in a storm of political and economic that will bring tail. After 21 years of control, the family Benetton will end up, in the time span of about a year, out of the management of Autostrade per l’italia (ASPI) , which is controlled by 88 % by Atlantia -a partner of ACS in Abertis-which manages 3.257 kilometers of motorways in Italy, on a total of 5.866, i.e., 55.3%. The government decided in the early hours of Tuesday to Wednesday to withdraw the concession to the family Benetton and ASPI become a society directed by the State through the Box of Deposits and Loans , controlled by the ministry of Economy, And to be quoted on the Stock exchange, with the majority of the capital of the State (33%).

For the family Benetton family, which controls 30% of the group Atlantia, representing close a very important chapter of a family model of Italian capitalism. His departure from Autostrade has its origin in the tragedy of the bridge Morandi of Genoa, whose collapse caused 43 victims of the August 14, 2018. The populism of the Movement 5 Stars gave judgment immediately: became a banner of their identity the need to revoke the grant to ASPI.

The leaders of the Democratic Party, which is part of the coalition government, were more cautious and pushed for a negotiated solution. In the end, it was agreed that the Benetton out gradually, reducing its 88% in ASPI at the 10%, that leaves them with no seat in the council of administration, a percentage that will end up selling when you are given the best chance.

In its 85 years, Luciano Benetton , who created an economic empire based on the manufacture of the jerseys, he had no other option than withdrawal. He forged an empire with the start of a legend in 1955. This was an exemplary story of capitalism, family Italian. When I was 19 years old, Luciano bought his first machine, knitting second hand. His sister Giuliana spent more than 18 hours by knitting and Luciano offered the goods to the shops of the city. He had fallen in love with the colors, watching the Russian painter Kandisky: “The combination of the colours became for me an obsession.” It was a key to success. The color of the jerseys was a novelty that rolled among the youth of the time. is The fashion company was the main creature of Luciano Benetton , origin after of a financial holding company controlled by the family Benetton, with subsidiaries such as Autogrill or Autostrade. A group of companies with some 65,000 workers.

After the collapse of the bridge Morandi, the populism unleashed a campaign of demonization of Benetton, culpándoles have been concerned only to obtain benefits with Autostrade without addressing the security. Luciano Benetton had to go out to the passage of fierce criticism: “The attacks are unfair. No component of the family Benetton has managed never Autostrade. We consider ourselves injured part, we assume the responsibility for management of the managers that has been shown to be inadequate.”

Today, very few defend it publicly to the family Benetton . It has been done by the photographer Oliviero Toscani , who signed the famous advertising campaigns by achieving that Benetton were a global brand.

Toscani criticizing the “media lynching” against The Benetton : “Of all the people with whom I have worked, I have never met people more honest that Luciano and his family. Today nobody in the year 1999, the highways were a disaster; the State offered them the concession, because nobody wanted”.

Today, all purport to claim victory after the withdrawal of the concession of Autostrade to the Benetton, but keep questions, after the fierce struggle that has existed between the populism and reformism. The more populist and radical-of the Movement 5 Stars would have liked the expropriation, the withdrawal of the grant without hesitation to the Benetton. In that case the State would have to have paid a compensation of € 23,000 million euros, and would have raised questions about the market economy in Italy, damaging its image abroad.

populist Drift

Reflection of that populism is the statement of one of the leaders of the Movement, Alessandro Di Battista , nicknamed Che Rome: “In this country where all scandals end up in a climate happy, I can’t remember a family of powerful that you have finished slapped as happened to the family Benetton on Tuesday night”. Had to go to the step that populism rampant, the minister of Infrastructure and Transport, Paola De Micheli (Democratic Party): “There has been an expropriation of the venezuelan style”. In the same line is expressed, Matteo Renzi , leader of Italy Alive, who form part of the coalition government: “there Has been an agreement between the Government and the family Benetton; therefore, individuals are not kicked out, but that they are paid”. In fact, the Milan Stock exchange “awarded” the agreement, with a rise of 26,65% of the price of Atlantia on Wednesday.

The return to the state management for Autostrade casts doubt on a key moment for Italy, as is the negotiation of the recovery Fund of 750,000 million from the European Union.

The so-called countries “frugal” would not accept that Italy will ask for money to nationalize its economy , while maintaining business ruinous as it is the case of Alitalia. The number two in the PD, Andrea Orlando, has tried to remove those suspicions: “ASPI will not be another Italy; or we do reforms, or we lose the EU funds”.