Private deals on public goods, financial takeovers with corporate "acrobatics", high finance and strong powers. To give a name to the operation they resorted to all the suggestive paraphernalia that the vocabulary of the heavens offered. Initially the definition was to be summarized with a slogan: "a unique airport for Sardinia". The risk of being misunderstood suggested an immediate retreat. The next advert featured a high-sounding "unitary management of Sardinian airports". Even this summary, however, did not convince them of the true objective set. In the end, they went to find the final version in the "sacred texts" of the European Commission: "Sardinia's airport network". It's a shame, however, that the meaning given by the Brussels offices to the definition of "airport network" was the exact opposite of what was being planned between the offices of Largo Carlo Felice, the Cagliari headquarters of the Chamber of Commerce, and the private finance buildings Milanese.

In short, privatize

In every way the protagonists of the airport assault have tried to deny the most effective and realistic summary of the operation: privatization of Cagliari airport, to date 94.4% of the shares are in the hands of the Chamber of Commerce, and creation of a real monopoly of the air gates of entry and exit from Sardinia, i.e. the airports of Olbia, Alghero and the Cagliari airport of Elmas. To be clearer, the objective of the leaders of the Chamber of Commerce was to privatize the Cagliari airport, but to do so they needed an "excuse-justification" that could cloak the operation in an alleged public interest.


This is how they "invented" the "motivation-excuse" of the "airport network" to obtain two results: privatizing on the one hand and on the other choosing, without any public tender, the private sector which acquires in fact, even if not formally , the majority and the governance of all three Sardinian airports. In practice, in the buildings of Milan and Cagliari, it was first chosen to whom to "sell" the concession of that immense public heritage and then the path which, according to their "financial engineers", would be simplest to reach the final result. In the end, they put that "imaginative" corporate alchemy made of "exchanges", mergers, shareholder agreements and corporate "shortcuts" in black and white with a resolution as explicit as it is eloquent. An act that had effectively "prepared" the airport "merger-privatization" of Sardinia by establishing, without any public evidence, who would have to sit at the "round table" of Sardinian airports.

Eyes open

This is the whole mechanism that opened the eyes of magistrates and auditors and caused trade associations to raise the barricades, from Confcommercio to Confesercenti, from tourist operators to the Court of Auditors. The Cagliari Chamber of Commerce, setting up the operation, wrote down in the documents the "noble" aim of the operation: "to create a single entity that can jointly govern the airports in the regional territory". In reality, there was no logical need to create a single entity to coordinate the unitary management of the Sardinian airports. That path, however, would have allowed the second step: that of privatizing Cagliari airport with a private entity which, in the worst possible terms, was defined as "non-fungible", or irreplaceable. They wrote it openly , without any shame: «the only suitable solution to achieve the strategic objective of creating a single Sardinian airport system appears to be the integration between the airport operators of the regional territory».

“Divine” obligation

The next step is described as an almost "divine" obligation: the privatization must be done with F2i & company "since it is not possible for Cagliari airport to create the Sardinian airport network with other operators". It is precisely the case that the end justifies the means. The use of the airport network, however, in this case is not only a conceptual and substantial forcing, but is a clear misrepresentation of European and Italian regulations. First, Europe. Community Directive 2009/12 is explicit: "Airport network" is functional to a system of airports, duly designated as such by a Member State, aimed at «introducing a common and transparent airport charging system to be applied to the entire network». Nowhere is it written in the European Directives that to manage "an airport network" it is necessary to carry out corporate mergers and "fun" privatizations without any public evidence. It is, therefore, all too clear that that forcing of the "means", the elusive and suggestive "airport network", "invented" to reach the "end" of privatization through the "predestined" private shareholder of the F2i financial fund is a thousand miles away miles from the same regulations in force, both in terms of denied competition in the possible choice of a private individual, and of real "strategic-commercial" convenience in "closing" the Sardinian airports in the "fence" of F2i and its partners.

Private network

A "Sardinian airport network" which ultimately would be conceived with the sole purpose of entrusting the management and governance of the three Sardinian airports to a well-identified "private group". A "private" network within which they would also like to include Cagliari airport, the only one still totally public, capable alone of breaking the monopoly that they would like to build on the entrance gates to the island. A fundamental infrastructure for creating tourism development and more, without the conditioning of private interests and those who pursue the sole "financial" and economic purpose of their shareholders, ignoring the strategic value of an airport.

Pulp & bones

It would be enough to look at F2i's airport scene in Italy to understand that Sardinia would never be "an airport network" aimed at the interests of the island, but would end up being crushed and held hostage by a "network" of commercial and financial interests infinitely distant from the role strategic of an airport like that of Cagliari. In practice, in a private way, and without any public evidence, the airports of Milan, Linate and Malpensa, Turin, Bologna, Trieste, Naples and Salerno would end up being held in check with development and attraction policies that would end up "pulping away" Sardinia in the summer and leave it bare bones for the rest of the year. In short, there would be absolutely nothing about Sardinian direction, on the contrary. The operational, strategic and economic control would be in the hands of the powerful financial funds that would have control of the Sardinian airports from every point of view. Zero competition and absolute monopoly. And the Antitrust decision of recent days opens new and disturbing questions about the operation. This, however, is another chapter in a story with many strong powers and high-class affairs.


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