* Italy wants shareholders to cut pay by at least 25 percent
* Move is part of PM Renzi's attack on waste and privilege
* Other public sector managers also face pay reductions
(Adds details, background)
ROME, March 28 Italy said on Friday it will back
cuts of at least 25 percent to top managers' salaries at oil
producer Eni, utility Enel and defence
contractor Finmeccanica at coming shareholders'
All three companies are controlled by the state but listed
on the stock market, with government stakeholdings ranging from
30.2 percent in Finmeccanica and 31.2 percent in Enel to 44.3
percent in Eni.
The economy ministry said in a statement its representatives
at the shareholder assemblies would vote for the proposals but
added the result would depend on a vote by the majority of
The proposed cuts were already foreseen in a law passed last
year, but do not take effect until April 1, 2014.
Separately, the government also announced compulsory 25
percent cuts in top management pay at rail operator Ferrovie
dello Stato, Poste Italiane, the post
office group which is due to be partially privatised, and state
investment holding Cassa dei Depositi e Prestiti.
With Italy suffering the highest unemployment seen since the
1970s, Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has vowed to bring down the
salaries of Italy's public sector managers.
There will be no absolute management pay limit at any of the
companies but the reductions from last year's salaries bolster
Renzi's attack on waste and elite privilege.
PAY MUCH HIGHER IN GERMANY
The move could also fuel criticism that the heads of Italian
multinationals will earn less than foreign competitors.
Last week, the head of Ferrovie dello Stato, Mauro Moretti
drew furious criticism after threatening to walk away from his
850,000 euro ($1.17 million) job, complaining that the head of
German rail group Deutsche Bahn earned three times his salary.
According to annual accounts, Fulvio Conti, chief executive
of electricity group Enel, earned 2.1 million euros last year.
His counterpart at oil group Eni, Paolo Scaroni, earned 6.4
million euros while Finmeccanica chief Alessandro Pansa earned
just over 1 million euros.
While those pay levels are not especially high by
international standards, the pay of managers at lower level
public companies can be very high in comparison with most
countries, with some earning more than Italy's president.
Under the new rules, management pay in other public sector
companies, including state broadcaster RAI and air traffic
controller ENAV, will be measured against the head of the Court
of Cassation, Italy's top appeals court, who earns a gross
annual salary of 311,658.53 euros.
Managers of the larger groups such as RAI will earn the same
salary, while heads of the smaller companies will earn
proportionately lower packages based on the size of their
operations and workforces.
($1 = 0.7278 euros)
(Reporting by Steve Scherer and James Mackenzie; Editing by Tom