(Adds mayor's comment)
ROME, July 24 The Italian Council of State
upheld an appeal against plans to privatise utility company
Acea, ruling that the Rome city administration had failed to
respect the opposition's right to be consulted in approving the
The Rome city government, which wants to cut the city's 51
percent stake in the local utility to 30 percent, had sought to
accelerate the sale despite hundreds of opposition amendments
intended to hamper the deal.
The ruling did not go into the merits or otherwise of the
intended privatisation, but said proper procedures had not been
"The deliberate obstruction by the opposition, which was
clear in the current case, should be overcome by other
procedural measures which do not conflict with local authority
regulation," the court, which oversees the public
administration, said in a statement.
The decision is a blow to the mayor of Rome, Gianni
Alemanno, who like other cash-strapped city leaders is
scrambling to make up a shortfall in revenue following big cuts
in transfers from the central government.
He said the decision would deprive the city of as much as
200 million euros for investment and 20 million for current
spending. "This is a decision which will block our city," he
said in a video message posted on his personal blog.
(Reporting by Stefano Bernabei and Naomi O'Leary; Editing by