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European Commission approves Italy's recovery plan




Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi will be able to finance his recovery plan thanks to the European Union (photo: Italian government)
Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi will be able to finance his recovery plan thanks to the European Union (photo: Italian government)
ITALY. After Portugal, Spain and Greece, the European Commission approved on Tuesday 22 June 2021 the recovery and resilience plan for Italy.
 
Italy will be the most endowed country in NextGenerationEU. Created to respond to the economic and social consequences of Covid-19, this programme has a total envelope of €750 billion, to which a common European debt project will contribute.
 
Rome will benefit from €122.6bn in loans under the Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF) and €68.9bn in grants. This amounts to €191.5bn out of a total national plan of €222.1bn. But in exchange, it will have to carry out several reforms.
 
 "We all have a responsibility to the European citizens who pay taxes to finance our national plan. We have a responsibility to do the right thing," said Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen sees "the opportunity for a generation to invest in Italy's strength, to make Italy an engine of growth in Europe."

32.1 bn for urban mobility

37% of the Italian plan's budget concerns support for climate objectives, including investments to finance a large-scale renovation programme to increase the energy efficiency of residential buildings (€12.1bn). But also measures to promote the use of energy from renewable sources, including hydrogen, and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from transport through investments in sustainable urban mobility (€32.1bn) and rail infrastructure. 25% is dedicated to the digital transition, with investments mainly to support the digitalisation of businesses (€13.4bn), the deployment of ultra-fast broadband networks, 5G connectivity and the digitalisation of public administration (health, justice, education).
 
The plan also aims to reduce regional disparities and improve the business environment, as well as to remove barriers to competition.
 
"After a crisis of unprecedented proportions, Italy has a unique opportunity to build a better future. Italy has presented a plan of reforms and investments to equip the country to tackle the problems that have held back economic development and social progress for too long. More effective public administration, more efficient judicial procedures, more competition: these are no longer just wishful thinking but the key elements of a detailed work programme," says EU economy commissioner Paolo Gentiloni.
 
The European Council now has four weeks to adopt the European Commission's proposal. Italy could receive its first cheque for €24.9bn (13% of the amount allocated) in July 2021.

Eric Apim


Wednesday, June 23rd 2021



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