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Government help for Fiat?

##berlusconi--right--Silvio Berlusconi##

Italian PM Silvio Berlusconi has signalled that his Government may eventually have to help Fiat – but says any package must not contravene EU's state aid rules.

At his year-end press conference yesterday, Berlusconi said: "If it becomes necessary, the government may be called upon for renewed interventions (in Fiat) but only in accordance with EU law.”

Berlusconi also said he hoped the Agnelli family, which holds a controlling stake in the Fiat group, would free up capital to invest in the carmaking unit. "I hope the Agnelli family will decide to invest more capital in Fiat Auto and help it move forward, even if they do so through the sale of some other assets," he said.

Fiat's stock has been scraping two-decade lows in past days after U.S. ratings agency Moody's downgraded the group's credit rating to "junk" status, citing high debts and the problems at Fiat Auto.

  • Mr Berlusconi also said that General Motors' interest in buying Fiat's carmaking unit had declined.

Source: Reuters

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