Italian cabinet approves 25-billion-euro stimulus package

Italian cabinet approves 25-billion-euro stimulus package
Illustration photo, Rome: Tiziana FABI / AFP
The Italian government on Friday approved a stimulus package totalling 25 billion euros to revive an economy battered by the coronavirus crisis.

The package approved by the cabinet contains over 100 articles ranging from tax payments staggered over two years to guidelines on lay-offs.

“We are protecting jobs, we are supporting workers, we are reducing the tax burden, we are helping the regions,” Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte told a press conference after a cabinet meeting.

Under the plan, there will be greater tax benefits for Italy's southern regions, which are far less developed than the industrial north.

“We are aware of the lack of infrastructure in the south which is less competitive and we want this gap to be breached,” Conte added.

The plan, which also calls for cruise liners to resume sailing from August 15 and for trade fairs to take place from September, has to be approved by parliament, where the government enjoys a majority.

There is a provision for emergency monthly payments to vulnerable families ranging from 400 to 800 euros to be extended, and a sum of 500 million euros allotted for overtime payments to stretched health workers.

Conte also said social distancing and face masks would be mandatory until September 7, adding: “These are the minimum rules.”

  


Member comments

  1. We don’t need US-style conspiracy theories here. This was a well fought compromise to help bolster the countries that suffered most, which also encouraging and providing some guarantees to concerned countries over how money will be spent.

    Leave the global economics and politics to those qualified.

  2. The main problem with this record-breaking stimulus package is essentially the same one of all its predecessors over the last decade. Not only does the EU like to redistribute wealth from the north to the south with clockwork regularity, but all these plans also fail to incorporate any kind of serious checks and balances about where and how the money is spent. As a result, we keep seeing massive waste and levels of corruption that are normally associated with developing economies. The scale of this most recent package alone brings this issue into sharper focus, especially as it is underlaid by a joint borrowing scheme that enables poorer EU countries to take out cheap loans using the creditworthiness of their richer neighbors, which act as guarantors. The harsh negotiations brought to the surface once again the deep economic, structural, and cultural divide between north and south. This divide has been at the core of every serious political and economic crisis in the bloc so far, and its reemergence served as yet another reminder of how unnatural, forced, and unsustainable the integration vision of the Europhiles really is. Their wider strategic aims, much like this covid relief package itself, are nothing more than a massive redistribution of wealth and a vain effort to impose uniformity on a radically diverse group of national identities, economic profiles, and local political realities. All these loans and handouts will be financed through an unprecedented amount of debt, which is unsustainable and myopic in and of itself. There no real strings attached when it comes to transparency and the all practical aspects of how the funds will be used, but there are heavily political requirements. For example, 30 percent of the aid must be spent on a “green” agenda and on combating climate change. It might be wrapped in idealistic and melodramatic language, e.g., “rescuing our shared European future,” but what this deal is really about is a blatant power grab.

  3. Paolo must be drinking the kool-aid as they say in the US. Solidarity, hardly, good work by Conte, one must set their expectations very very low to consider it good work. The true test will be how much of these billions actually get to the people who need it. If history is our guide, then I bet not much! Meanwhile, migrants continues to flood our shores….good work Conte!

  4. Only 8 months into the virus and NOW the EU and Italian cabinet get around to an economic rescue package! The failure of the EU to act much sooner when needed aid was crucial to failing businesses simply highlights the utter corruption and ineptness of this bureaucratic monstrosity. And now to add to Italians distrust of government, we will have to stand by and watch these billions be funneled off to various cabinet ministers, their family-run businesses, and the mafia. Once again, the average Italian will simply shrug their shoulders, for they have seen this story many times before. Very few of these EUs will make their way to those in need. Will Italian ever wake up and repudiate the daily corruption and the EU, who is intent on allowing Italy to become a warehouse for illegal immigrants? Not a chance!

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