12:21 GMT30 November 2020
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    GENOA (Sputnik) Anastasia Levchenko - Damage to the Italian economy caused by the coronavirus pandemic may be higher than the Italian share of the EU Recovery Fund, which is why reforms apart from investments in development projects will be needed to lead the country out of the decline, Vice President of Confindustria Barbara Beltrame said.

    Since Monday, the new governmental decree has been in force in Italy, banning bars and restaurants from working after 6:00 pm, as well as closing theaters, cinemas, gyms, swimming pools, spa-centers and casinos. The measures will stay in effect at least until November 24.

    “Unfortunately, it seems that we have been found unprepared, although this time we knew that there would be the second wave. These new measures raise concerns about a further fall in GDP for this year, which only a few weeks ago our Research Center estimated at -10%,” Beltrame said.

    “In fact, we foresee a further decline between one and two percent, therefore -11 / -12% of GDP, with damage to the economy of 216 billion, higher than the funds of the Recovery Fund,” she continued.

    Italy is expected to receive 209 billion euros ($246 billion) from the 750 billion euro Recovery Fund that was approved by the EU leaders. It will include 81 billion euro in grants and 127 billion euro in loans. The money should be invested in certain areas defined by the European Union (such as sanitary system, green energy etc.).

    “Italy must choose whether to invest resources from European instruments in major development projects in the country, enhancing their effects through the implementation of reforms that have been postponed for too long. Otherwise, Italy will be condemned to remain a country in decline, burdened by a huge public debt that it will not be able to repay,” Beltrame said.

    According to the Confindustria vice president, the Recovery Fund represents a great opportunity for Italy to make investments in strategic areas for economic growth. Such driver areas are going to be digitization and technological innovation of the production system, as well as environmental sustainability.

    She added, however, that it will also be necessary to “make the public administration more efficient, increasing and speeding up the quality of public services and reviewing the ways in which public decisions are translated into norms.”

    Since early October, the daily rise of COVID-19 infections in Italy is hitting records, having already surpassed 21,000 new cases per day. Some Italian regions have introduced a curfew.


    economy, infection, COVID-19, Italy
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