Municipalities to get €50 billion from recovery plan

“Italy supports the ambitions to vaccinate 70% of the global population against COVID-19 within the first half of 2022”, Prime Minister Mario Draghi said Tuesday. [EPA-EFE / ETTORE FERRARI]

“Municipalities and metropolitan cities will administer almost €50 billion as implementers of the national recovery plan,” Prime Minister Mario Draghi said on Thursday (11 November) in a speech at the 38th assembly of the association of town and city councils.

Italy’s prime minister also outlined several priorities.

“From the digital transition to the ecological one; from investments in culture to public housing; from crèches to support for the most vulnerable elderly. The future of Italy sees you as protagonists today” he told mayors.

Draghi said that the Italian government is “fully in the implementation phase” of the plan. Already €2.8 billion has been invested for 159 urban regeneration projects, and €2 billion has been assigned to each region to improve housing quality.

Particular attention has been dedicated to southern Italy, where 40% of the investments dedicated to municipalities will be used. Already €700 million has been given “to regional managers to make railway stations in southern Italy more functional and to upgrade the areas where they are located,” said Draghi.

He considers new investments in school buildings and education a priority: “by the end of the year, we will launch calls for the construction of new school canteens and gyms, for which we are earmarking €1.3 billion”. Draghi also intends to create 195 new innovative schools, and allocate €4.6 billion for crèches and nursery schools, “with the ambitious aim of creating 228,000 new workplaces”.

According to the prime minister, it is also important to make smaller centres ready to meet the challenges of the national recovery plan.

“The government has simplified the procedures for awarding public contracts to increase the speed and effectiveness of intervention,” he said, adding that it will assist local authorities to make the plan’s realisation more feasible.

(Eleonora Vasques | EURACTIV.com)

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