Italy may strengthen powers to intervene in economy
ROME Oct 8 (Reuters) - Italy's government will consider measures to extend its powers to intervene in key sectors of the economy, according to the agenda of a cabinet meeting issued on Tuesday that coincides with a spate of crossborder takeovers.
The agenda for Wednesday's cabinet meeting said ministers would look at "identifying procedures to activate special powers" in sectors including national security, energy, transport and communications.
It gave no details but the move comes in the middle of a heated debate about retaining national control over strategic sectors of the economy after Spain's Telefonica took over Telecom Italia and Air France-KLM stood poised for a possible acquisition of loss-making Alitalia.
Prime Minister Enrico Letta's government has stepped up efforts to attract foreign investment but there has been increasing concern about losing control of key strategic assets.
Particular attention has been paid to Telecom Italia's fixed-line network, which is being spun off from the rest of the business.
The Italian state retains significant stakes in a number of big companies, ranging from energy groups Enel and Eni to defence technology group Finmeccanica.
Last week, the private equity arm of state-backed investment holding Cassa Depositi e Prestiti agreed to take an 85 percent stake in Finmeccanica's gas plant unit Ansaldo Energia. (Reporting By James Mackenzie; editing by Ron Askew)
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