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SIS - Societa Iniziative Autostradali E Servizi SpA News Story

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UPDATE 1-No tariff increases for most Italian motorways in 2020 - ministry

(Adds details and background throughout)
    ROME, Dec 31 (Reuters) - Some 95% of Italy's motorway
network will not see any increase in tariffs in the coming year,
the Transport Ministry said in a statement on Tuesday, putting a
further squeeze on the country's toll operators.
    Road tolls were frozen across most of Italy in 2019 in the
wake of a deadly 2018 bridge collapse, and the government had
previously said it would extend the price moratorium until June.
    However, the ministry indicated on Tuesday that the freeze
would remain in place throughout 2020 for most of the country's
26 motorway operators, including Atlantia's  ATL.MI  unit
Autostrade per l'Italia (ASPI).
    "Therefore, 95% of the motorway network which is under
concession will see no tariff increases for the year 2020," the
ministry said. It said the four firms that could increase tolls
were CAV, Autovia Padana, Bre.Be.Mi. and Pedemontana Lombarda.
    ASPI said in a statement that at the request of the
ministry, it would voluntarily suspend tariffs hikes that had
initially been approved for 2019 and that it had hoped to
introduce for 2020.
    The ministry announcement came the day after part of a
highway tunnel roof operated by ASPI collapsed near the northern
city of Genoa, underscoring once again the fragility of Italy's
ageing road infrastructure.*:nL8N2943DJ
    No one was injured in the incident, which came 16 months
after an ASPI motorway bridge in Genoa disintegrated, killing 43
    The ruling 5-Star Movement has repeatedly blamed Atlantia, a
company controlled by the Benetton family, for the disaster and
said ASPI's concession should be revoked.*:nL8N28Y0ZS
    Atlantia has denied any wrongdoing and said it carried out
maintenance of the bridge as required by the contract.
    Transport Ministry officials held talks with ASPI on Tuesday
over the tunnel roof collapse. The ministry said in a statement
that ASPI had told the meeting that the tunnel had recently been
checked by external controllers and had been declared safe.
    The ministry said it wanted ASPI to speed up controls on all
its roads. It also asked the company to provide financial
support to the Port of Genoa to compensate it for losses
incurred by the 2018 bridge disaster.
    ASPI gave no immediate comment on the meeting.

 (Reporting by Crispian Balmer and Angelo Amante; Editing by
Alison Williams)
 ((; +390685224351; Reuters
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