EU Commission chief green lights Italian recovery plan

“It is a day of pride for our country. The Italian plan fully responds to the priorities established by the Commission”, Prime Minister Mario Draghi told a press conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen from the Cinecittà studios. [EPA-EFE/ETTORE FERRARI]

Italy has received a green light for its Recovery and Resilience Plan, meaning the country will soon obtain its first tranche of around €25 billion in stimulus to help it recover from the economic fall-out of the pandemic.

“It is a day of pride for our country. The Italian plan fully responds to the priorities established by the Commission”, Prime Minister Mario Draghi told a press conference with European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen.

The recovery money must be “all be spent, but above all spent well, efficiently, effectively, but also honestly: in recent weeks we have already made important steps” on the first reforms, “such as governance and simplifications”, Draghi added.

The green light ceremony took place at Cinecittà Theatre 5, the historic theatre of Federico Fellini’s film productions. The choice of location is not just a tribute to Italian cinema and culture, sectors severely hit by the pandemic, but also a venue that will obtain €300 million in funds from the plan.

“The place chosen for this ceremony is very symbolic. Here in the post-war years, our cinema told the life of Italian families, first the hardships, then the work and finally the enthusiasm. Today we celebrate here what I hope is the dawn of Italy’s recovery,” Draghi said.

Italy can count on “the full support of the European Commission,” said the EU’s Commission chief, who also called the Italian plan “ambitious and far-sighted.”

Italy is set to receive €24.9 billion by July, and a total of €191.5 billion by 2026 – of which €68.9 billion will come in the form of subsidies, €122.6 billion in loans.

Italy’s national recovery plan contains 190 measures, including 58 reforms and 132 investments, and 525 objectives to be achieved to obtain the resources. 37.5% of the plan will contribute to climate goals, 25% to digital ones. (Valentina Iorio | EURACTIV.it)

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