February 13, 2020 / 9:07 AM / in 10 days

Italy's Salvini says might back revoking Atlantia's motorway licence

Leader of Italy's far-right party Matteo Salvini gestures during a news conference a day after the Senate voted to remove his legal protection, opening the way for a trial over accusations he illegally detained migrants at sea last year, in Rome, Italy, February 13, 2020. REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane

ROME (Reuters) - The head of Italy’s opposition League party, Matteo Salvini, said on Thursday he would back any move to strip Atlantia of its motorway concession if there were the legal grounds to do so.

Italy’s government is considering withdrawing the licence held by the Benetton-controlled group after a bridge in Genoa operated by its unit Autostrade per l’Italia (ASPI) collapsed in August 2018, killing 43 people.

“If they decide to revoke the concession, we will support that,” Salvini said, adding that the decision would have to have a legal grounding. “The important thing is that they need to make a decision,” the League leader added, accusing the coalition of dragging its feet over the issue.

Atlantia has denied any wrongdoing and warned the government it would challenge any attempt to revoke the licence in the courts.

Reporting by Crispian Balmer; Editing by Gavin Jones

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