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Consortium backs from Alitalia rescue

ROME, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- The consortium assembled to rescue Italy's Alitalia Airline walked away from the negotiating table Friday, claiming unions weren't ready to make a deal.

"Conditions are not right to continue the talks," said a spokesman for the Compagnia Aerea Italiana consortium, Ansa news reported.

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UIL union leader Luigi Angeletti said the consortium was reviewing the option of not lowering salaries and that talks would resume.

But, Corrado Passera, chief executive officer of Intesa Sanpaolo, the bank that designed the rescue plan, said the unions did not realize "the gravity of the situation – especially the pilots."

The plan includes a reduction of 5,000 Alitalia jobs, including 900 pilot positions, ANSA reported.

Bankruptcy Commissioner Augusto Fantozzi has also threatened to take action, claiming the law mandates he begin liquidation procedures Friday.

A total liquidation would result in 20,000 lost jobs, ANSA reported.

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