ROME – Majority hails “victory” in Brussels

Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte was satisfied to come out with a deal which leaves the total numbers of the recovery fund unchanged and grants almost €209 billion to Italy, which is even more than anticipated.

“We are satisfied with the outcome of the negotiations”, Conte said, adding that “now we will create a task force for the implementation of the reforms”.

“The outcome of the European Council is important because it strengthens the role of the European Union and helps Italy create the conditions to deploy a quick and effective intervention programme”, said President Sergio Mattarella.

Majority parties reacted positively to the European Council decision.

While Foreign Minister Luigi Di Maio, hailed the EU which “showed it cares about the common interests of all its citizens,” Democratic Party leader Nicola Zingaretti celebrated the “fighting spirit of the Italian government” and the “victory for Italy”.

By contrast, the opposition parties took a different stance on the matter.

For instance, former European Parliament president and member of centre-right party Forza Italia, Antonio Tajani called for a solution in line with his party’s requests and asked for bold reforms on the Italian side.

Brothers of Italy leader Giorgia Meloni had expected a better result but appreciated the prime minister’s efforts despite earlier criticism. Meloni remained critical of the “unacceptable and anachronistic privileges” that the so-called “Frugals” still have.

Finally, League leader Matteo Salvini predicted Italy would face difficult times as the conditions linked to the Recovery Fund would bring “tears and blood”, quoting the words of former PM Mario Monti in 2011.

According to Salvini, the funds will force Italy to adopt strict reforms which will cause “sacrifices and cuts”. (Alessandro Follis |

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