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Italy supports economy with 25 billion euros


Italy has extended its anti-corona measures by a month. The government wants to get the economy going again with financial aid for companies and families. The south in particular could benefit from this.

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Abandoned Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan: "We protect jobs"

Photo: Luca Bruno / AP

The Italian government has extended its anti-corona measures until September 7th. The cabinet of Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte passed a decree on Friday evening in which, among other things, the mask requirement in closed, public spaces and the distance rules are further prescribed. Larger gatherings of people are also prohibited. Prime Minister Conte spoke of "balanced measures that do justice to the current situation".

Italy, which was one of the countries most severely affected by the corona pandemic in the spring, has caught itself thanks to the measures. But you have to stay vigilant, said Conte. The government voted for further cautious easing in tourism, for example, where cruise ships will be allowed to sail again from September 15. Strict hygiene rules must be observed on board. Trade fairs can reopen from September 1st - the construction and organization of the exhibitions can even begin immediately.

25 billion euro aid package

The government has decided on extensive financial aid for the economy, which has been badly shaken by the corona crisis. The package has a volume of 25 billion euros. It comprises more than a hundred individual measures, including tax breaks. "We protect jobs, we support employees, we reduce the tax burden, we help the regions," said Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

The plan provides for greater tax breaks for the economically weaker regions in the south of the country. This should strengthen the local infrastructure, said Conte. The emergency financial aid for needy families of 400 to 800 euros per month is to be extended according to the government's plans. 500 million euros are earmarked for overtime compensation for healthcare workers.

According to the draft for a corresponding decree, parts of the new aid will only be granted if companies refrain from layoffs. 12.6 million Italians are on a kind of compulsory vacation because of the economic crisis. You can now get further help. Smaller companies will also get easier credit obligations for longer than before. Companies also receive relief when it comes to pension contributions. State-owned companies have EUR 1.5 billion available for capital increases. And other funds flow into the promotion of electric cars and hybrid models. The stimulus package now has to be approved by parliament.

Massive economic slump

Italy is one of the most severely affected countries in Europe by the corona pandemic. Almost 250,000 people there contracted the new virus. More than 35,000 infected people died. A lockdown lasting more than two months led to a massive economic slump.

According to EU forecasts, the gross domestic product in Italy will collapse by 11.2 percent this year. The government in Rome hopes to get funds as soon as possible from the EU development fund, which is supposed to provide grants and cheap loans.

Italy had already launched an economic stimulus program worth 400 billion euros in April. It is the largest state program in the history of the country, said Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at the time.

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Source: spiegel

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