Cabinet following Telecom's spin-off plan, minister says

'It is of national relevance', says Zanonato

Cabinet following Telecom's spin-off plan, minister says

Rome, July 17 - The Italian government is following Telecom Italia's plan to put some of its domestic fixed-line assets into a separate company "with great attention because it has national relevance", Industry Minister Flavio Zanonato said on Wednesday. Zanonato also noted that "the problem is to meet the country's needs and not put Telecom in a difficult position". Telecom's spin-off would be the first step in selling off assets and raising funds for the heavily indebted company. On Tuesday however the company announced that it was putting on hold its plans to spin off its fixed-line network following a regulator's proposal to cut tariffs on its competition in a plan that would influence the feasibility of any new spin-off. Zanonato said he would meet Franco Bernabe, chairman of Telecom, "in the coming period" to discuss the issue. Bernabe said Tuesday that he remained optimistic and confident in the project.

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