The European Low Fares Airline Association (ELFAA) announced that it had formally lodged a complaint with the European Commission, on 8 January, for the state aid granted to the airline Alitalia and its successor CAI (Compagnia Aerea Italiana). The association is unhappy with the Italian decree, adopted in August 2008, to save the struggling airline, which imposes an airport tax of 3 per passenger departing from Italian airports from 28 October 2008. The revenues from this tax will be used to lower social security costs for CAI when it employs former Alitalia employees. The ELFAA has calculated that the airline will receive about 100 million in aid annually, over a seven-year period.

This tax, says the association, constitutes illegal state aid, and, what is more, it "offloads the cost of the subsidies onto CAI's competitors". "If the EU allows member states to tax foreign...

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