Prodi says protests will not sway Alitalia decision

ROME Thu Dec 27, 2007 9:20am EST

A passenger passes Alitalia check-in desks at Fiumicino Airport in Rome December 15, 2006. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

A passenger passes Alitalia check-in desks at Fiumicino Airport in Rome December 15, 2006.

Credit: Reuters/Tony Gentile

ROME (Reuters) - Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi on Thursday said regional protests against Air France-KLM's (AIRF.PA) bid for Alitalia AZPIa.MI would not sway his government's decision on a buyer for the money-losing carrier.

Prodi told a year-end news conference that the government would choose the best offer between two rival bids presented for Alitalia, without saying which offer it was more inclined to accept.

Alitalia's board last week picked Air France as its preferred buyer over smaller carrier Air One, which has begun an intense lobbying campaign to challenge the decision. The government has the final say on a buyer.

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