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Ryanair calls EU support for Alitalia rescue plan 'corrupt'

The European Commission's decision to back stricken Italian airline Alitalia's rescue plan has been called "corrupt" by Ryanair. The Irish budget airline has decided to take the case to the European courts.

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Irish budget airline Ryanair said on Thursday it would appeal what it called the European Commission's "corrupt" decision to approve the takeover of assets of stricken Italian airline Alitalia.

"Ryanair will be appealing this latest blatantly corrupt decision by the Commission to the European Courts," Ryanair said in a statement.

"Eventually, the Commission will be exposed for its corrupt and biased application of the state aid rules in favour of flag carrier airlines like Alitalia."

The European Commission had on Wednesday given approval for a group of private investors to take over assets of Alitalia while ruling that they would not have to repay a state loan judged to be illegal.

Italian Air Company (CAI), a group of Italian business people, made a takeover offer last month for the air passenger transport activities of Alitalia, which was put in special administration in August.

A new, relaunched airline was due to rise from Alitalia's ashes on December 1. The current Alitalia has burnt through three million euros a day, leaving it crippled by debts totalling about 1.2 billion euros.

Meanwhile a fourth day of a wildcat strike by Alitalia air crew opposed to the takeover deal caused more than 40 flight cancellations Thursday, news agencies reported.

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