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ROME, Dec 18 (Reuters) - French businessman Xavier Niel, who holds options that could allow him to buy a 15.1 percent stake in Telecom Italia, has a "strong and clear" vision for the group, the Italian phone company's chief executive said on Friday.
Marco Patuano was referring to comments Niel made in an interview with daily La Stampa where he said that the future of Telecom Italia lies in the development of fibre optic networks.
Patuano also said his company will consult with authorities in January over a project to bring ultra-fast broadband to 250 Italian towns it is developing with fibre network firm Metroweb.
He said that while collaboration with Metroweb was progressing well, there was no discussion yet over the financial aspects of a possible accord.
The comments come after Italian state lender Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, which controls Metroweb together with infrastructure fund F2i, suggested on Thursday it could invest in Telecom Italia if the collaboration succeeds.
Reporting by Alberto Sisto, writing by Agnieszka Flak