ROME, March 18 (Reuters) - Italy’s government will defend companies considered strategically important from foreign takeovers, Deputy Economy Minister Antonio Misiani said on Wednesday, at a time when buyers could take advantage of collapsing share prices.
“We can already use the so-called golden powers. We are considering how to strengthen the existing instruments to defend companies deemed as strategic”, Misiani said in an interview with Radio 24.
Existing “golden powers” allow the Italian government to veto strategic decisions such as asset sales and mergers at businesses deemed to be of strategic national importance.
On Tuesday the Spanish government unveiled a plan to block foreign acquisitions of strategic companies. France has announced a similar initiative. (Reporting by Giuseppe Fonte, editing by Giulia Segreti)