Prodi to address parliament on Telecom Italia

The Italian Premier Romano Prodi will speak to parliament later today to discuss Telecom Italia and the row that has erupted since its reorganisation was announced.

According to reports, Prodi was initially reluctant to discuss the issues that have seen its chief resign and its senior executives publicly taunt Prodi over what many sees as his interference in business issues.

Today’s address, according to the Italian daily Ansa, will be to the lower house of parliament. It reports that he will give an address to the Senate next week.

Focus on Telecom Italia has been intense since the announcement by the former chairman, Marco Tronchetti Provera, that the company would split into separate units with a strong possibility of the mobile arm being sold. Within days of the announcement Tronchetti had resigned following comments made by Prodi, suggesting Tronchetti had not given him full details of the “reorganisation”.

Within 24 hours, Guido Rossi, the lawyer who led the recent inquiry into corruption in Italian football, assumed the chairmanship

Speculation has raged around who could step in to buy TIM. According to Italian daily, La Stampa, a group of American and European investors headed by Mario Resca, chairman of McDonald’s Italy, is looking at acquiring either a controlling stake in Telecom Italia, or TIM. La Stampa added that private equity funds, Templeton International and Blackstone could also be interested in buying stales in the telecoms firm.

The story thus far:

18 September: Italian drama as Tronchetti quits, Rossi takes over

18 September: Comment – Bushido-style drama grips Italy

14 September: Update: more details on TI reorganisation

12 September: Italian PM wants “details” on TI reorganisation

12 September: Telecom Italia to sell Brazillian mobile arm – Reports

11 September: TI splits fixed and mobile, inks Murdoch deal

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