Italian riot police and several hundred Alitalia Airline maintenance employees have clashed in Rome as workers protested job losses threatened by the Airline's pending sale to Air France-KLM.
No serious injuries were reported in Tuesday's skirmishes, which took place as Alitalia negotiators met with airline labor unions to seek backing for the takeover. The deal, announced Sunday, requires the approval of parliament and all nine airline labor unions.
Ahead of today's talks, Alitalia stock shares in Rome dropped about 20 percent in value, before trading was suspended after excessive declines. Stocks plunged more than 25 percent Monday.
Analysts say the sale is critical to the survival of the airline, and is one of the key issues that will face Italy's new government after next month's parliamentary elections.
Under the deal, the Italian carrier's equity is valued at just $216 million, far less than had been expected.
The offer is based on an exchange of one Air France share for 160 Alitalia shares. The Franco-Dutch carrier said it will inject nearly $1.6 billion in capital into Alitalia's operation, once the deal is complete.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.