ROME, April 22 (Reuters) – Prime Minister Mario Draghi has prepared a draft of Italy’s Recovery Plan for presentation to cabinet as he races to try to complete a final version for presentation to the European Commission next week.
The government says that thanks to the investments and structural reforms in the plan Italy’s gross domestic product in 2026 will be 3 percentage points higher than it would otherwise have been.
Following are some key points of the draft seen by Reuters:
Rome is entitled to 191.5 billion euros in grants and cheap loans from the EU’s European Recovery and Resilience Facility (RRF), which is the key component of an emergency programme designed to help EU nations hardest hit by the coronavirus.
The government plans to top this up with 30 billion euros of its own borrowing, for a total of 221.5 billion euros to be invested in stages through 2026.
The 191.5 bln euros of EU funds will be spent on six broad areas: transition away from carbon fuels; digitalisation and innovation; infrastructure; education and research; social inclusion, and health.
The lion’s share will go to energy transition (57 billion euros) and digitalisation (42.6 bln euros).
These broad headings cover more than 120 projects, ranging from hiring and training staff to speed up trials, removing asbestos from buildings, and phasing in electric buses.
The single projects due to get most funds are tax breaks for companies to invest in high-technology (18 bln euros), high speed railways (13 bln), making buildings more energy efficient and earthquake-proof (10 bln) and broadband, 5G and satellite technologies (above 6 bln)
The main reforms, outlined only in a few bullet points for the presentation to cabinet, are an overhaul of the public administration to simplify bureaucratic procedures, and interventions in the justice system aimed at accelerating Italy’s notoriously slow trials.
The justice reform will include temporary hires to get through a huge backlog of cases and increasing the role of mediation schemes to resolve disputes outside the courts.
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