Friday, April 30, 2010

Post 244. Is Telstra-Australia going the same way as Telecom-Italy?

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Is  Telstra-Australia  going  the  same  way  as  Telecom-Italy?

Here are a few extracts from my address:
I am here today to attend the funeral of Telecom Italia. I am wearing a black armband on my arm. This Country’s former top technology company is finished. For the past 10 years, the company has been shrinking and becoming ever more marginalized in the international context. In the period from 2008 to 2012, between the staffing cuts already made and those still to come, the Company will have fired another 13,000 employees. On 31.12.2009, Telecom Italia had 54,236 employees, while in 1999, when Massimo D’Alema handed over the company to captains courageous Gnutti, Colaninno and Consorte, the company had twice as many employees.
Telecom is busy dying. When a company outsources its best IT experts and engineers in the interests of efficiency, then the company has no future. 3000 of the Country’s best were outsourced to a great mixed bag called SSC, which was then “empowered” and then sold off at leisure. What kind of future does any country have that fires its engineers and imports low-cost labour? Telecom must be sold off as soon as possible to Telefonica or to some other major international Group, before the current shareholders can suck all the meat off its bones. Telecom may be dead, but at least we can still transplant its organs so as to save the few remaining jobs.
Telecom Chairman, Galateri, said that: “there is debt that has to be reduced and we will do so”, but how does he propose to do this if he continues to pay out dividends to the shareholders every year, this year included? The house is burning and these guys are using all the remaining available water to take a shower. In the past ten years, the debt has remained the same while the shareholders and managers have become wealthy and Telecom has “reduced its waistline”, as Galatieri so elegantly put it. Instead, the shareholders’ waistline has ballooned, while Telecom shares that were worth about 8 Euro each in 2003, are now worth little more than one Euro each. In 2009, Telecom’s revenues amounted to 27.1 billion Euro and the company’s debt was 34 billion Euro. In other words, its debt exceeded its revenues by 7 billion Euro.
Revenues have declined by 6.3% when compared to 2008 and are expected to decline by another 3% in 2010. And now, after having sold off almost everything in the past ten years, from shareholdings abroad, to real estate, through to its innovative companies such as Telespazio, Italtel and Sirti, it has now been announced that the next asset up for sale is Telecom Italia’s 50% stake in Telecom Argentina.
They talk about making investments in the coming years, but the Network is like a sieve and Italy is bottom of the list in Europe in terms of widespread access to broadband services.
As a Chartered Accountant by trade, I would like to do a simple accounting exercise. Given that over the past ten years, Telecom has sold off almost all of its shareholdings, its buildings and even its telephone exchanges, reduced its staff by almost 50%, reduced its revenues, reduced its investments, almost zeroed the value of its shares and, notwithstanding all of this, its debt has remained unchanged at 34 billion Euro, then it raises an interesting question, namely, precisely what happened to all the money? Who is it that has destroyed this Country’s top company in the field of innovation, which was built up using the taxes of entire generations of Italians?
The money landed up in million-Euro stock options and in dividend payments to well-heeled shareholders that have eaten Telecom alive, that’s where! We need to investigate the financial background of the managers that have run Telecom over the past few years in order to see what their assets were before and after their entry into Telecom. To check whether or not they benefited personally, directly or indirectly, from the operations they carried out in these past few years, selling off Telecom assets. This destruction of Telecom Italia’s value has been the worst damage ever done to this Country, both in terms of the economy and in terms of innovation. The shareholders and workers, as well as the future generations, have paid and will continue to pay the price. Those responsible for this catastrophe, whether they are politicians or businessmen, must be prosecuted.
Bernabè is someone that I greatly admire as a manager, but he has failed to do what any honest person ought to do, namely, call the previous management to account, including everyone from Colaninno to Tronchetti and from Buora to Ruggiero, for their involvement in the Telecom Sparkle fake invoicing scandal, their shares, their huge earnings and, in some cases, for their use of the company for personal gain. The spying activity carried out by Telecom employees on tens of thousands of people has seriously tarnished the company’s image. Who is going to pay for this? Who is going to compensate the minority shareholders for the fact that the shares they hold have been turned into trash? Colaninno and Gnutti pocketed capital gains amounting to 1.5 billion Euro when they sold their shares to Tronchetti who was backed by the banks, but why? Why did the minority shareholders get nothing?
It was immoral for million-Euro stock options to be handed out for years while tens of thousands of people were losing their jobs.
We need some sort of law to prevent the payment of dividends by companies whose debt is equivalent to anything more than 50% of turnover. Any small to medium size business whose debt is anything more than 30% of its turnover would shut down immediately. Telecom is dead and, in order to save the remaining jobs, the company should be sold to Telefonica as soon as possible and this backbone of the economy must once again become a public company, thereby giving every operator an equal chance instead of just one.
In Italy, our broadband is somewhat narrow, the narrowest in all of Europe. This is also thanks to this government, which is holding back some 800 million Euro of incentives for the reduction of the digital divide and introducing absurd taxes, such as that on fair compensation for memories.
According to data released by the European Commission, access to broadband services in private homes in Lombardy, the most advanced of the Italian Regions, is still limited to only 36 families out of every hundred, precisely the same level as in some Europe’s poorest regions, such as la Mancha in Spain, and lower than in Poland.
The only countries that are still falling behind Italy are Rumania, Bulgaria and Greece. Without infrastructure, Italia has no future and, for that matter, not even a here and now. My dear Bernabè and Galateri, please sell what remains to Telefonica, hand this backbone back to the State and then go home, together with the rest of the members of the Board of Directors, before we face total collapse.
Posted by Beppe Grillo at 07:49 AM in | Comments (0)

Comment-:    I  have  very  modestly   invested    in   Telstra   as    a    sign    of   Patriotism although    the  organisation   is  fast   becoming   one   of  the  Australian   jokes   like  the  Australian  cult   and   worship  of   criminals   and   gangsters   and   Mafia  in  general.
Can  anyone    imagine   Australia  as   a  Republic?
One  of  the   latest   representatives  of   the   criminal    golden    Australian   aristocracy,   Charles   Williams,    nicknamed   " Baby  Face ",    a  known  and  convicted   killer,    was  murdered  in  prison  and  buried    with    full    honours   in   a   gold-plated    Funereal   Casket   worth   over    30,000  dollars   with   full    Roman-Apostolic-Catholic-Church's    blessings!
Ma   che  cazzo  fate  oh   Catholics?
Another   Australian   joke  is  the  Australian  Police  Force,   both  at  State  and   Federal  levels..............just   think  of    Milat  the   Yougoslav    son   of   migrants    who    killed    seven  backpackers,    KNOWN  IN  HIS   SMALL   TOWN  AS    HAVING  HAD   A CRIMINAL   RECORD,   yet   being  allowed   to   retain   a  licensed    arsenal  of   weapons   including    revolvers,    automatic  pistols   etc.
He  was  allowed  to  drive  a    four   wheel-drive   and    must  have obviously   remained    un-observed/unchecked.   Had  it  not  been   for  the    fortuitous  escape  of  his   last  intended   victim,  a   British   young   tourist,    he   would  have   continued    his  serial   killings   unsuspected.
I  believe   Australians   have  as  a   majority,  a   quasi-genetic    love   for    criminals  and   crime.
It   has  nothing  to  do   with   FAIR-GO!
There  is  a  general  tendency   to  put  the  blame    for   the   crimes   of   the  First-Fleet  convicts  on    European  society.    The   world  was   all   like  that  then,   with  even  less  opportunities   for   everyone   as  there  are   to-day!
Islam    cut   off    the   foot  and  hand  of  the    thief!   We   sent  the   bastards    to  the   Colonies    for  rehabilitation. 
Modern  Democracies   are  pushing   the    bastards   to   the   top,   even   into  Governments.
Eliminate   the    advisory  influence  of  the   few    people   in  the  Aristocracies,  moulded   in   the  traditions  of  the   origins   of  the  Westminster  System  of  Government,  and   you  get   the  present   Banana   Republics.
What we  need  is  not  the   revival  of  the   ancient    National  Monarchies   which    have  been   divisive    and    damaging  to  the  Western   Civilisation,   having   directly  or  indirectly  caused  all    European  Wars,  including  the  Religious   Ones,   but   a   Western    Monarchic   Legislative    Assembly    dialoguing   with   Parliaments   and   Senates. 
If   European   convicts  had  been  totally  the   fault  of  European  society   in  the   days  of     Colonisation,     then  how  is  it  that Australia   and  America   still    shine    to-day   for  a   High   Crime   Level,    in   spite  of  their    undeniable    wealth   and   highly-sung  opportunities?
If  the  opportunities   are   chimeric    why   not   stop,    even  if  temporarily,   from    having   migratory  invasions   stressing   the    system?
As   Honouable   Bailieu (  Vic.  Parliament)   well    said,   we   must   cease   from    using/abusing     migrants    to    stimulate   the  economy   as   this   has  become  a   vicious  dependence   in   Australians,   like  a   substance-abuse,    but  rather  develop   the   economy.
The   two   Villa  Units    after   mine    are   lived  in    by  three   times   the    number of   people    normally  allowed   by  Health   Regulations.     In  one    there   are  even  two   children    and   three   adult    couples,   a  total  of   eight  people.
They  have  no   choice  but    overcrowd  as   the   rent  is   exhorbitant,  charged  by a   Maltese   ex-migrant   turned   wealthy,    a  Mr.  Cavalieri,   who   also   happens   to  be    an  electrician.
Yet   no-one   does  or  says   anything!
I  spit  on   Thee   you  damned   democratic   hypocrits!


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