The European Parliament’s Committee on Budgets has approved a request to use the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) to help ex-Alitalia employees. EURACTIV Italy reports.
In line with the European Commission’s proposal, the committee has authorised funds from the EGF in order to support 1,249 workers who were made redundant by the Italian airline, following its privatisation in 2009. Around 10,000 employees were made redundant five years ago, 850 of which were airline pilots.
Layoffs were made inevitable by Alitalia’s declining share of the market and a decrease in passenger numbers, caused by the economic crisis and rising fuel prices.
At the beginning of the year, Etihad Airways bought a 49% stake in Alitalia in a deal worth €560 million, after years of losses.
To help support those laid off by Italy’s national carrier, Rome requested help from the EGF, an instrument that the European Union uses to aid people who have lost their job as a result of globalisation-based redundancies.
The fund provides different options to help those who qualify for it, including money to help set up businesses, help in job seeking, professional careers advice, and various types of training and education.
Italy’s request will have to be approved by the European Parliament at the next plenary session, due to be held in the second week of October, and then by the Council.
The committee also approved requests from Ford and Opel for similar withdrawals from the fund, which will total €14.6 million.
Between 2013 and 2014, Italy, along with 13 other member states, benefitted from the EGF, with 27,000 people receiving support as a result.
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Romania and Spain all benefitted from EGF support during a two year period.
During this period, the EGF supplied €114.4 million, of which €94.1 million was provided by the member states. As a result, 7,656 people were able to find new employment or start a new business themselves.