MILAN, March 20 The Italian government supports
plans by Finmeccanica to sell its transportation units
and focus on its core aerospace and defence businesses, the
finance and industries ministries said in a joint statement.
"The deconsolidation of its transportation activities
decided by Finmeccanica represents an essential element for the
success of the group's plans," the ministries said in the
statement late on Wednesday.
The endorsement is likely to fuel expectations that
Finmeccanica may be closer to selling its lossmaking rolling
stock unit AnsaldoBreda and its stake in rail signaling
affiliate Ansaldo STS.
Finmeccanica is 30 percent owned by the Italian state and
needs government backing for sensitive strategic issues like
Finmeccanica put up for sale its rail units more than two
years ago but the process was delayed due to political and trade
union opposition to foreign takeovers.
(Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Lisa Jucca and David