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Talks between CDP and Atlantia over motorways continue - minister

ROME, Sept 22 (Reuters) - Talks between Atlantia and Italian state lender CDP over the group’s motorway assets continue, Transport Minister Paola De Micheli said on Tuesday, pouring cold water on media speculation that the negotiations had collapsed.

Atlantia has been embroiled in a legal dispute with the state since the deadly collapse of a bridge operated by its motorway unit Autostrade per l’Italia in 2018.

To end the row, Atlantia agreed on July 14 to a plan that would see CDP work with the group to separate out Autostrade before the state lender and other investors took control of the unit.

However, talks between Atlantia and CDP have become increasingly difficult as the two struggle to agree over several issues, two sources close to the matter have said.

De Micheli said that Atlantia and Autostrade had made a preliminary commitment on July 14 that now needs to be translated into formal agreements and Rome is working to ensure that these agreements are consistent with the commitment made that day, according to comments confirmed by a spokeswoman.

“We believe that the work is moving forward and that the demand for compliance with that commitment is simply a normal, fair and correct request,” she added, speaking at the sidelines of a conference in Rome.

De Micheli said that at present it was not possible to give a timeframe for the signing of a final agreement with Atlantia. (Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte; Writing by Francesca Landini; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)

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